I never thought much of Ash Wednesday before, since in my denomination the Lenten ritual of having the sign of the cross caressed into one’s forehead with symbolic ash isn’t really practiced. I’ve never thought it was heresy or anything; in fact, aside from casual conversations I may have had with friends who wore their ash crosses home from church on Ash Wednesday, I never really thought of it much at all.
We have lifted our hands in heartfelt surrender as we admired her faith. We have run myriad miles with her, breathing deeply the sigh of relief as we experienced her safe place. Now we raise our voices in song and our hearts in prayer yet again as we study her praise. What an estimable companion Mary has been as we have traversed together through the Christmas season.
We’ve spent the last few weeks delving deeply into the awe-inspiring faith of Mary. We now turn our hearts toward her place, her chosen destination. The Bible explicitly teaches God’s design for life in community. We are not meant to be alone nor to do life on our own. There’s no sense in denying it: we are simply better together!
This week our Advent story finds us right in the middle of Mary’s stunning revelation from the angel: she has found favor with God! What a wondrous thought! Don’t we all long for this?
God loves women. He loves Christian women. He equally loves Muslim women. God loves all women. Women matter to God. In a day and age where not every culture or country celebrates this fact, we need to hear this truth again straight from the Word of God. Never doubt for a moment that women matter to God.