Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday: God Longs for Us to Embrace Deeper Love

“Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Cor 6:2
“Return to me with your whole heart.”– Joel 2:12

The more deeply we love, the more we long to be with those we love. God is similar, except infinitely more so. God’s love for us does not depend on our looks, intelligence, performance, success, popularity, or faithfulness. God does not love us more if we make good choices, get better, or even come back to God. Yet, the more we embrace ourselves as loved without condition, the more we will grow and become transformed.

God invites us through the Lenten journey to make greater space in our hearts and lives so that the unconditional love of God that is already offered can take greater root and bear lasting fruit. The disciplines of fasting (from what does not give life or promote justice), almsgiving (sharing our time, care, and resources), and prayer (attentiveness to God) are invitations to set apart time and space so that we can come to realize more deeply God’s longing for us and to discover greater God’s dream for our lives. We are invited to enter the desert of our inner landscape to acknowledge any area of unfreedom and allow God’s merciful love to transform us.

Lent is this acceptable time, the season that we embrace God’s longing to come closer. God beckons and waits for us to make room, to embrace ourselves as loved beyond our wildest imaginings and treat others likewise. Let us enter this Lenten time of spiritual renewal with generosity and desire for meaningful transformation.

How will you respond to this longing of God, this invitation to embrace love more deeply?

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