So, we come here to have our foreheads smeared with the ash of the palm … to have the statements of sin cast away like dust just as we are dust to dust.  We come here in our insignificance to once again start the season of LENT.

A Holy Season … a season to give up things … for Lent of course.  For God not for our own bragging purposes, right?  No chocolate? No TV?  No this or that but anxiously looking forward to EASTER SUNDAY’s baskets when we can do again.  Where is God in our moments and where is our Savior in our lives?

Today are you remembering just who our God is.  If you listened carefully you heard the prophet’s call to you and me.  The prophet’s declaration friends … our need; our faith requirement … just who are you … just who am I?  Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, very patient, full of faithful love, and ready to forgive.

We will go through this day with ashes displayed to the world but friends do your hearts ache knowing that we have all strayed from our God.  That Jesus’ words are all too often cast adrift on the seas of the world’s confusion?

It should come as no surprise that Jesus focuses on the children in many lessons … we must be like children in their innocence understanding that we are not better than God … that our choices do not outweigh those taught by Jesus.

After coming down the hillside of the Mount of Olives to the waving of palms … palms like those that were turned to ash for today’s service it was the children that the angry self-focused and power hungry religious leaders targeted … the children were the ones that political leaders put down for their innocence in attacking Jesus.  In Matthew we read, 14 People who were blind and lame came to Jesus in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and legal experts saw the amazing things he was doing and the children shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were angry. 16 They said to Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”

But friends we are the children of God …. Called to shout HOSANNA … called to turn our lives around and today is the start of this Holy season … Are you shouting Hosanna to Jesus so that the world knows who matters for your life?

I am called to ask you, ARE YOU READY to repent?  Paul shares the admonishment as a representative of Christ, BE RECONCILED TO GOD!  Now is the Time!  Now is the day of our salvation!

This morning I heard James Taylor singing the old Billie Holiday Song … the lyrics rang out to me … Rich relations give crusts of bread and such. You can help yourself, but don’t take too much. Mama may have, Papa may have.
But God bless the child that’s got his own, that’s got his own

Church do you have your own Savior today?  God’s ready to forgive our sins!  In this season of Lent it is a time to get closer to God not by rejecting candy and cake but by holding true in our faith and clutching our Savior to our hearts.

Jesus when in the midst of chaos and questioning called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

So, today it is ashes on our foreheads … your tomorrow and mine are for us to determine.   Do you have God … do you have your Savior Jesus Christ.  Are you ready to become like a child again … not rushing to slide into the sinful nature of adults but instead to look up to your Savior’s arms.

Be a child of God .. Now is the Right Time!   Return to the Lord your God for God is merciful. and compassionate … and loves you, me and every other human being … God is just waiting for God’s children to come back.


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