Daily Meditation for Ash Wednesday – 17th February

Image above – Station 1 Jesus is Condemned

My Soul Doth Wait 

Wash me: make me
Whiter than the snow –
On exile-cleansing holy ground
Build thou the walls.
Repudiate all my misdeeds,
That bones which thou hast
Broken may rejoice;
No burnt-offering, frost-ossified,
Will compensate or plead excuse:
Then shalt thou be pleased.

(Nicholas Heale, Good Friday 2016)

‘Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind  him, a grain-offering and a drink-offering for the Lord, your God?’ (Joel 2.14) 

Whatever our circumstances, however great the constraint we feel under,  there is always the possibility of renewal. The prophet Joel asks us to  wonder whether we, too, will discern possibilities for renewal even – maybe especially – when the likelihood seems improbable. Who knows?  Even you and I may experience unforeseen renewal of heart and of hope.  

This Lent, let that be what we seek. 

‘The gentiles are greatly mistaken in thinking that January is the first  month: Moses was right in saying that the Pasch was the first month, for now the herbs in the meadows rise, as it were, from death; likewise the  trees begin to bloom, and the first buds appear on the vines. The very air  is joyful with this newness of time, a season when the elements of the  earth are renewed. Indeed the human race itself is renewed, as the newly  baptized throughout the world come to rise in newness of life.’ 

Chromatius of Aquileia, c4th: the ‘Pasch’ is the Passover of the Lord, Easter.

By Rev’d Dr. Nicholas Heale