Ash Wednesday begins with the sober remembrance of our expulsion from the Garden of Eden. “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” the Lord God pronounced after Adam’s transgression (Genesis 3:19).
The Lenten desert journey is an opportunity to fast and seek the face of God in prayer. “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:49, RSV).
The Holy Spirit imprints the image of Christ in us at baptism, making us newborn sons and daughters of God, but spiritual growth comes through challenge and adversity. After Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, the Spirit drove him into the desert to do battle with the Tempter for forty days (Mark 1:12-13).
Easter resurrection glory is the fruit of Christ’s conquest of “principalities,” “powers,” “world rulers of this present darkness,” and the “evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12). The sacrifice of the Cross is the crushing entrance to immortal life and Paradise.
May the Holy Spirit guide us into the desert to hear his voice and transform our hearts.
Note: The Lent series will receive some updates this year, but due to other responsibilities, fewer new posts will be published for some time. Thank you for your understanding. Have a blessed Lent!