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“You shall love the Lord your God.” Matt. 22:37

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Wednesday, March 5

WEEK ONE

Ash Wednesday

Scripture: Luke 14:25–33

“Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

As Christians, we traditionally repent from our sin on Ash Wednesday, remembering our transgressions against God and our neighbors. As we enter into this cross-bound journey, we recognize a universal sin: we are reluctant to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

In this passage, Jesus tells us about the cost of following him. Being a disciple is more important, he says, than even our most beloved family relationships. We should no more set out as disciples without being prepared for sacrifice than we would begin building a tower or a house without knowing how much it will cost.

The focus of our faith is often on what God can do for us: answer our prayers, give us salvation, or get us through a rough season. A more faithful focus is on what we can do to join God’s mission: how we can carry the cross and follow Jesus through a life of sacrificial love and service. How might you join God’s mission?

Lord Jesus, forgive me for not following you faithfully. Strengthen me for this cross-bound journey.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 5; 147:1-11
First Reading Amos 5:6-15
Second Reading Hebrews 12:1-14
Gospel Reading Luke 18:9-14
Evening Psalms 27; 51

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