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Ash Wednesday

ďAnd when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

ďDo not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ó Matthew 6:16Ė21

Itís very appropriate during Lent, a season of repentance and increased focus on Godís work for us in Christ Jesus to be reminded that God is our Father. How is God our Father? Sometimes people talk about God being our Father by the Creation. This is true that God created us. We are creatures. But thatís not quite fully revealing about our Father. Creation is sometimes a scary place. Things in creation die. There is so much out of our control in creation. It can be frightening. Even worse, our many sins tear into our thinking about how our Father looks at us.

There is another way to think of God as our Father. Yes, He created us. He has done so much more than that however. God is our Father because Jesus is our brother. The Son of God was sent by the Father to redeem His creatures. Now instead of just seeing the raw power of creation or the wrath we deserve for our sins and offenses, a new way to see God as our Father emerges. God is our loving Father. He showed this in sending His only-begotten Son. The power of Creation is under the same Son who suffered all punishment for us. This Father is our Father. Because of Christ we know Him to be a loving Father.

Dear Father in heaven, help us trust you as our loving Father who gave us Jesus to redeem us. Help us to call you during this Lenten season with all boldness and confidence. Amen.

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