Ash Wednesday and Lent Week 1
Reflection and Prayer

When we were children, we were taught to give up something for lent. I never quite understood why God would care if I had chocolate or not. I think we got it wrong back then. There is a plethora of scriptures that teach us not to give up something, but to give something. In Daniel:3-4 it talks about the covenant of love promised by God. God’s love is endless when we turn to God in prayer:

3. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with God in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. 4. I prayed to the Sovereign my God and confessed: “Sovereign, the great and awesome God, who keeps the covenant of love with those who love God and keep the commandments;” the greatest of them is love.
As we prepare ourselves for the season of Lent, we keep in mind that fasting and ashes are symbolic of the way we give our love to God, keeping God’s commandments.
What type of love are you showing and spreading with others? 

Ever Loving God,
We pray for the strength and courage to give and receive true LOVE to and from everyone.
The kind of love that does not discriminate against anyone.
The love that is shown to others with a smile, a hand out and a hand up.
The type of love that shows up and shows out through all the ugliness surrounding us in our daily lives.
Starting today may we all be blessed to open our hearts wide and begin sharing agape LOVE with each other. 
Agape love that is not a feeling but a motivation for action that we may freely give to others.
A love that is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return.
We are called to agape love through Christ's example: " Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14
Reflection and Prayer by Chris Keusch and Laticia Williams, who are celebrating their 20th year together this month. Laticia is a graduate of the MCC US L.E.A.D. 6 (Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship) Program and Chris is a graduate of the MCC US L.E.A.D. 9 Program.
They are members of Church of the Trinity MCC, Sarasota, Florida, USA. 
The theme for Lent invites us to play with the words  Give and Take  and the whole balance of giving and receiving. This spiritual practice extends itself beyond Lent having led us to and new life in body and soul. More information is available on Google Drive at these links:

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