(Image courtesy of goldenspikelutheran.wordpress.com)
And the Lord said, “What have you done?”
Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27).
I confessed to God my sins, and I knew what I must do then.
The priest shall put on his linen vestments after putting on his linen undergarments next to his body; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar” (Leviticus 6:10).
With all my sins heavy upon my heart, I went to church seeking absolution.
“Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).
There I found others who were also coming to find forgiveness, but it was not the priest’s to give.
“Then I turned to the Lord God, to seek an answer by prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes” (Daniel 9:3)
In the silence of prayer, I heard the voice of God in my heart telling me to come and receive the mark of repentance.
“For the unclean they shall take some ashes of the burnt purification offering, and running water shall be added in a vessel” (Numbers 19:17).
The priest’s finger moved against my forehead and now I too bear the mark of the cross.
“For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!” (Hebrews 9:13-14).
Thank you, God, for giving me this time to consider my sins and still find forgiveness through Christ. I have taken up my cross, please let me follow Jesus.