“Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.” I ponder these words, this loving invitation, this Lenten Journey. I could hear God’s voice personally calling out to me; “return to me with your whole heart.” Not a piece of my heart, not some of my heart, not the bottom half of my heart – God wants it all, all of my heart. But there is so much in this world that also calls out to us, lures us away, captivates us, draws us away from God. People demand our hearts, our attention, our time, our resources, our selves. But God says, “return to me… come to me… follow me…” Let me be all that you need, all that you want, all that you desire, all that your heart longs for. “Return to me,” and I will cleanse you, feed you, nourish you, care for you, hold you, restore you – I will love you for an eternity. God draws us always but during this sacred season he does so in a quite personal and intimate way. He asks us to fast from the world and enter into our hearts. This is a scary thought for some, for others a painful thought, still for others it reminds us of hurt and brokenness – it brings images of despair. But God does not want to cause you pain and suffering. He desires to bring you relief from the things that made your heart heavy, unloved, alone. Letting go of the past is traumatic, we mourn people, places, things. We weep over the situations that have long gone but still hurt and influence us still today. It hurts even more so today. It pains us even more so today. Return to God with your whole heart. God wants it all. Not just a part, not just the upper half, not just the good side. God wants your whole heart. Bring it all to him this Lenten Season – Give your heart to God and he will make your heart like new. “A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.” God’s peace and blessings always.
First Sunday of Lent