At my school, we have daily chapel, which I love to attend and participate in. It is the perfect way to start my day. Starting the day with Scripture and a positive look on the day helps when I’m often having a stressful day or week.
Yesterday’s message was particularly special because it was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of lent. This is a time of sacrifice, of selflessness, of remembering Christ’s sacrifice for all people, and for following in His steps.
The main scripture for the message was Psalm 51, which is a Psalm of repentance by King David after his adulterous act with Bathsheba. He pleads with the Lord to have mercy on him because of his sin. He asks for the Lord to make him clean, to give him a pure heart. Just like David, our sins were always before the Lord even though He desires truth and purity to be within us. And often, we know what Christ wants from us and either intentionally or unintentional act against this.
The second reading of scripture came from Hebrews 12:2 which says, “ Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at right hand of the throne of God.” During Ash Wednesday, we remember that Christ paid the price for our sins and we have been made clean. We didn’t deserve it, but He endured it anyway. He knew how much we sinned against Him, how many times we missed the mark. But the Christ saved and forgave us. Because of this act, we can lead others to Christ and teach them His ways. Because Jesus has made clean before God, we can stand before Him unblemished on the last day.
Ash Wednesday, a time of being humbled, remembering what we are, and why Christ came to save us. As my Pastor said, ashes humble us, ashes mark us. We are ashes. We came from dust, and we will return to dust. We have the ashes crossed on our foreheads as a sign on remembrance. Not only of our dust origins, but of how unworthy we are. Christ came down to us to die. He became a man, the only pure blood to cover and pay for our guilt. Ashes are a sign of mourning, during lent they are a time of mourning our sin and Christ’s death. We always bear in our bodies the death of Jesus. Because He died to pay for our sins. We carry that with us because without His resurrection, we would still be dead.
Towards the end of the message, I felt small. It was during the song, watching all the people around me walk up to the front of the church, having tears in my eyes and seeing them in other’s. It was a good kind of small. I felt somewhat insignificant and special at the same time. All I could think was, “Out of all the things God made, out of everything in this world, He came and died for us. He came and died for me.” I felt small, but that was okay, because I knew that my God was big, He is mighty. God could carry me. Past all my hurt, all my pain, all the times I had messed up. The song and the Scripture brought tears to my eyes, realizing again that I had been forgiven.
Christ didn’t have to die for us, but He loved us so much that He did. We never could have been good enough, yet He laid down His life anyway. It was a selfless love. I am humbled by that. It is hard to have that kind of sacrifice in my life. My goal of this year has been to be more forgiving, more kind, more compassionate, more selfless, more loving. It is not always easy, but Christ has done that much for me. Therefore, I should and cannot do any less.