The United Methodist Ministry
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Serving the Mt Sunapee Lakes Communities
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. (Psalms 51:3 NRSV)
Scripture of the Day:
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
This is a difficult concept for us to wrap our Western minds around. We have been conditioned by culture to think of ourselves as sole beneficiaries of the benefits or consequences of our actions. Newscasters, however, remind us that, today, both the rich and the poor sit in anxiety together over matters too great for any one of us to remedy alone. We are seeing our country at its worst since the Great Depression. The economy is in such a state that any one of us could find ourselves homeless or jobless overnight. A more frightening thought, without intervention, any one of us could become suicidal or criminal in response. The present economic crisis reminds us that we are all in this together -- in spite of our individualism. If ever there were a time for us to consider corporate responsibility and corporate culpability, it is now.
The good news in this tome is that God has always been willing to forgive anytime a person or a nation repents. Think of the story of Jonah or of countless other Old Testament narratives where nations repented and turned their hearts to God anew. God forgave the people of Nineveh; God forgave Israel, countless times. This same God is willing to hear our prayers and to forgive us for any way that we as individuals have contributed to our country's present state. God is also willing to guide our corporate solutions as we look at the long uphill climb to restoration.
Every year, the Ash Wednesday texts call us to be alarmed about ourselves, to tremble, to tear our clothes, to pray. Each year, we walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before us in prayer and piety. And each year we have the renewing rhythm of God’s grace and mercy.
From United Methodist Discipleship Resources 2016