Ash Wednesday Reflections

Ash Wednesday Readings: Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

While learning Spanish, I was struck that the word in my Spanish bible for both righteousness and justice is the same: justicia! As it turns out, that is true in many languages, including Hebrew (tsedek). In each case, the words refer to right relationship. Right relationship with God; right relationship with our human and non-human neighbors; right relationship within and between people, communities, nations; and right relationship within and between all that God has created.

What a beautiful vision of how the world should be! Yet, we have not been faithful to God’s calls for right relationship. Where do you see the broken relationships in your community? Don’t just think about between individuals! Are all in our communities well? Do our various municipal, state, and federal government policies reflect a desire for of what is good for all, or do they only reflect the interests of a few? Where have things broken down in our nation? How have we broken relationships with God’s creation around us? Have we been eager to point out the brokenness we see elsewhere, but hypocritically neglected our own role in what is broken?

Take a moment this Ash Wednesday to reflect on all the different relationships and levels of relationships that should be “made right.” Pray for God to guide and lead you and all of us together into right relationship with God, with everyone and everything that God has created.