A Broken Heart for Valentine’s Day (Ash Wednesday)

A Broken Heart for Valentine’s Day (Ash Wednesday)

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  Psalm 51:17

Valentine’s Day falling on Ash Wednesday provides a great opportunity to teach about the condition of the human heart.  On this day, countless people will wait in long lines to purchase cards and candy for someone for whom they care.  Their cards will be filled with bright, beautiful red hearts full of life and love.  The reality is that our hearts are not so beautiful, nor are they such precious gifts.  Jesus says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”  Most of our loved ones would rather have candy and cards than such a heart.  However, this is a sinful, broken heart.

King David, when confronted with his sin by the prophet Nathan, confessed his sin to God.  However, he also knows that God does not despise his heart, broken by sin, but creates in him a new heart and renews a right spirit within him.  The Gospel restores and renews David, but all of God’s fallen children.

On this Ash Wednesday, like King David, we come acknowledging our hearts have been broken by sin and asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness.  As the ashen cross is traced upon our heads, we are assured that Christ’s cross is the source of our forgiveness and the means by which those hearts are made clean, covered by the precious blood of Jesus.  Today is a day to celebrate that God takes broken hearts and makes them new again through Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Prayer -  Almighty and everlasting God, as You despise nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent, create in us new and contrite hearts that, lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, we may receive from You full pardon and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. 

Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan

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