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Ash Wednesday Reflection: by Bishop Claire Burkat

Based on 2 Corinthians 5:20 -- 6:10

We gather as the people of God on Ash Wednesday to begin the Lenten season. We join with Christians all over the world, in worship and prayer, in repentance and reconciliation with God. It's a grown-up service for a grown-up faith, that is not afraid to look at suffering, injustice, cruelty, and betrayal in the face.

St Paul implores the Corinthian people;

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

We remember it is not we who reconcile ourselves to God…through sacrifice, or being righteous, or performing pious rituals, or being on our best behavior. No, once again we are reminded that God always initiates this reconciliation with us… Through the suffering of Jesus who was sent by God to enter this world and share our suffering, it is, and always will be, there for us and for the world God so loves.

We are reminded today the Christian faith is a grown-up faith. The God who was embodied in Jesus Christ was a loving One, a healing, justice seeking, blessing, accepting, rule breaking One, who was also and simultaneously a suffering One, a betrayed One, an arrested One, a condemned One, a murdered One….and a risen One.