Ash Wednesday 2017: Putting Us In Our Place

Rev. Dave Middlebrook

1st March, 2017 ()

Bible Text: Matt 6:1-6,16-21; Joel 2:1-2,12-17 |

It is not nice to be 'put in our place', when someone publicly humiliates us. In our Matthew reading Jesus puts the 'religious people', those whose faith is all show and no substance, very firmly in their place. But there is also another meaning to 'put in our place' which suggests the 'right place', the 'correct place', a 'good place'. In life, particularly in times of trial and change, sometimes we are unsure of 'our place'. Spiritually we sometimes say 'I'm not in a good place right now'. Lent is about us finding our place and allowing Christ to put us in a 'right place'. We remember that 'we are dust and to dust we shall return', not in a negative way, but realising our start point and end point is God. It has been said that the Lenten journey is one from ashes to Easter fire, from chaos and uncertainty to new life. Are we storing up things on earth, or treasures in heaven (cfi Matt 6:19-21)? Are we allowing Christ to mould and shape our hearts, returning to Him with all our heart (cfi Joel 2:12)? There we find a merciful God, slow to anger and abounding in love (cfi Joel 2:13), and we find our true place with Him.

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