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Theology

Ash and Oil: March 23

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Rom. 8:22)

God uses creation to speak to us. He put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his covenant, he pointed Abram to the stars to illustrate his numerous offspring, he called out to Moses from the burning bush. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” he questioned Job.

Ash and Oil: March 20

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

As temperatures slowly inch upwards and the sun lingers longer in the evening, that spring-time drumbeat starts pounding ever louder in my head. After being cooped up for a cold, dark winter I want to take every opportunity to go outside, even if I might be jumping the gun a bit, and I suddenly get the feeling like I need to get my house in order.

Ash and Oil: March 18

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the ones who believes in me drink.  As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”  (John 7:37-38)

Ash and Oil: March 16

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.’” (Matthew 5: 43-45)

Ash and Oil: March 13

Hear this, O Job;

stop and consider the wondrous works of God.

Do you know how God lays his command upon them,

and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?

Do you know the balancings of the clouds,

the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect…

(Job 37:14-15)

Ash and Oil: March 11

Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? (Ezekiel 34:18-19)

Watch your step!

It’s a common sign to see in buildings and public places; a little caution to be mindful of where you’re walking so you don’t hurt yourself or anyone around you.

Ash and Oil: March 9

I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon. His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon. They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. (Hosea 14: 4-7)

Ash and Oil: March 6

You have made the moon to mark the seasons;

the sun knows its time for setting.

You make darkness, and it is night,

when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.

The young lions roar for their prey,

seeking their food from God.

When the sun rises, they withdraw

and lie down in their dens.

People go out to their work

and to their labor until the evening.

(Psalm 104:19-23)

Ash and Oil: March 4

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.' Jesus answered him, 'It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’'"  (Luke 4:1-4)

Ash and Oil: March 2

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

There is a coastal village just north of Mombasa in Kenya. For generations, the mangrove forests there have created a habitat for fish that has provided food and income for the people of the village. Today that way of life is threatened, as mangroves have become an important source of another commodity in Kenya: fuel.

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