Ash Wednesday- Humility

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“BUTTON YOUR LIP!”

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 (NRSV)

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (vs.1-4)

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. This is a day when we humbly recognize our sinfulness and remember that “to dust we shall return.” So today our gentle nudge will be to deepen in humility.

Many of us may remember being told by teachers or parents to “button our lips” and be quiet. With a twist of our fingers across our mouths, we were encouraged to stop talking! This is an appropriate practice for today, as our passage from Matthew warns us against practicing our piety before others. Today, whether we fast, begin another discipline, or do a kind deed, let’s try to refrain from telling anyone. Trust that “our Father sees in secret” and that is more than enough! For isn’t this our very reason for being? Let our prayers and awareness be for our humility, to empty ourselves of our pride.

Our tangible reminder is a button. If you don’t have one to carry with you, you are welcome to copy and paste my photo to your computer or cell phone, and then use it as a screen saver or wallpaper. May our buttons remind us to keep silent about our practices- or ourselves!

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Awesome God, I am so imperfect and small,and yet you love and forgive me beyond limits. Please keep me quiet about anything that makes me prideful. Keep me mindful of Jesus and his life of obedient humility. Keep me mindful of my brokenness today. Most of all, keep me mindful of your infinite, merciful love. Thank you. Amen.

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6 thoughts on “Ash Wednesday- Humility

  1. I am a member of an ELCA church in Tallahassee, Florida and was ready your message today in ” Christ in our Home” devotional book that I try and read everyday – when you mentioned your health issues and your husband’s recent open heart surgery( I recently retired as a PA with Cardiovascular /Thoracic surgeons and was involved in numerous aortic aneurysm cases ) I looked up your name in front of book and then viewed this Blog site and have been reading several of your posts and have truly enjoyed and been inspired by many of your messages – Thank You so much – you do have a wonderful gift and so many comments you express are poignant to my personal life and my thoughts along with actions – or lack of actions as a Christian on my part. My wife and I will keep you and your husband in our prayers and I will read all your future posts – Please continue!
    God Bless.
    In Christ,
    David

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    1. Wow, David, thank you so much for your gracious words, your kind prayers, and a bit of your story! So you can understand the concern we had with Jim’s aneurysm- we had a great doctor and we are very thankful that this was found early. I imagine you have many stories you could share! Thank you for encouraging me today. You are a blessing! Joy to you and your wife.

      Karen 🙂

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  2. Karen, I too read ” Christ in Our Home” every morning like David does and I did the same as he, which has brought me to your blog also! Thank you for your Evanglism here, your truly blessed in proclaiming your Love for Christ! I will be now reading your blog along with my other daily study. I felt your testimony in each of your days writing and was sad that today was your last one. How joyful I am now! As your blog will keep me filled and inspired to be taught of our Lords love. Gods peace and continued blessings in this season of you and your husbands lives.

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    1. Oh Jean, how nice to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind encouragement, too. It blesses me so much to hear from others. Thank you for taking the time to write!
      May you feel blessed today, knowing that you have touched my heart.
      Thank you,
      Karen 🙂

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  3. Your daily mediations in “Christ Our Home” have been so meaningful to me. I also live in Tallahassee and atten church with DAVID Brown and his wife. I look forward to reading your blog. God’s blessing on you and your husband.

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    1. Thank you, dear Melinda! Sounds like Tallahassee is filled with thoughtful people. You have brightened the rainy day we had here in Hurricane, WV! Thanks for being so kind. I love hearing from others!
      Peace and joy,
      Karen 🙂

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