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Lent is a season in the Christian year that is marked with awareness.  Lent is the 40 days that lead up to Easter where we recognize and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During Advent, we anticipate the arrival of Jesus Christ.  During Epiphany, we appreciate the revealing of Jesus Christ.  But during Lent, we become aware of spiritual truths that can only happen with the arrival and revealing of Jesus.  As each week of Lent unfolds, we will meditate on what awareness this season provides for us and how we can become more aware of God's working through shared readings in his Word.

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
- Genesis 3:19

As the Lenten season begins, we become aware of our own frailty.  Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent; a time when we recognize that we have been created from dust, and it is to dust we shall return.  Being aware of our temporary nature provides us with helpful blessings as we live. 

This awareness fosters humilty.  Knowing that we have come from the dust suitably grounds us in relation to God. He is the one who is created us. He is the one who continually sustains us, in the same way that he sustains the earth that we were created from. We, therefore, know where we stand in relationship to him.  We must reject the temptation to build our lives up like towers of Babel, believing that we are more than the dust from where we came.

This awareness encourages dependence.  Living in humility appropriately anchors our thoughts and emotions. We humbly recognize that everything we are and are blessed with has come from God.  Therefore, we must regularly and daily depend on him for what is needed in the future. The plans we keep, the schedules we maintain, the cares that weigh on us, and the work that we do must be suitably checked in a trusting dependence on God's wisdom, might, and guidance.

This awareness establishes gratitude.  With this knowledge, we become grateful for everything that God provides in the midst of our lives.  As we have come from the dust, we recognize our limitations and become grateful for all of the ways that God sustains us. 

This awareness sparks praise.  Gratitude gives birth to praise and worship. It is a blessing to be aware of our frailness and mortality. It is a blessing to recognize how God sustains our lives.  The establishment of thanksgiving gives way to praising our Father who has given us everything that we need for life and godliness through the work of his Son and the blessing of his Holy Spirit.

In this first week of Lent, reflect on the lowliness of our creation, but also on the wonder of God's regular provision and care.  Let this guide your minds to worship him this week.

Week 1 Bible Readings:
Thursday, February 18: Psalm 25:1-10; Daniel 9:1-14; 1 John 1:3-10
Friday, February 19: Psalm 25:1-10; Daniel 9:15-25a; 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Saturday, February 20: Psalm 25:1-10; Psalm 32; Matthew 9:2-13
Sunday, February 21: Genesis 9:8–17; Psalm 25:1–10; 1 Peter 3:18–22; Mark 1:9–15
Monday, February 22: Psalm 77; Job 4:1-21; Ephesians 2:1-10
Tuesday, February 23: Psalm 77; Job 5:8-27; 1 Peter 3:8-18a
Wednesday, February 24: Psalm 77; Proverbs 30:1-9; Matthew 4:1-11