Lent and Healing
Healing may be one of the most important concepts of the Easter season, just as it was important in the ministry of Jesus.  It cannot be determined how many healings Jesus did, but many are recorded in the four Gospels.  Healing renews the body, and as described in scripture, the healings of Jesus renewed the soul as well, and continue to do so to this day through the Gospels!

There are underlying, yet highly important themes to this; healing is an act of love, of mercy, of compassion, of faith, of forgiveness, and of grace.  Of course, many of these qualities can be seen in each healing, and that is because all of these qualities spring from the same source.  That source is love, and all love flows from God.

We are all sinners.  Jesus and his sacrifice heal us of our sins. Just as being healed of an earthly disease allows us to live a longer and more fulfilling life, by being healed of our sins, our spirit may have everlasting life.

Lent, the season of Easter in the Christian world, is a time for Christians to reflect upon the darkness of our hearts, the sins that both hurt and anger our God.  He is a God of love and forgiveness; and as such sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins and conquer death by crucifixion and resurrection, allowing for eternal life in the heavenly kingdom.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the Lenten season.  Much of the Christian world, including United Methodists, mark an ashen cross on their forehead as a reminder of the death of Jesus and the death of sin, a sacrifice of love that we might have everlasting life.

How to use this Devotional
Each day during Lent, read the scripture passage for that day.  Let the message fill your heart with its meaning, and guide you in your prayers.  There are questions and comments to help you find how the message speaks to you personally; use them as needed to make your daily prayers reflect your thoughts and your heartfelt emotions.

The Jews knew God as an angry God who required sacrifice to atone for sin.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 79:5:

       “How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever?
        How long will your jealousy burn like fire?”

The answer to this question is Jesus!  It is important for Christians to reflect carefully on the implications of this sacrifice.  The darkness of sin in our hearts is a cause for spiritual mourning.  That darkness in our souls is dispelled by the light of the risen Christ, the Son of God, just as the darkness of night is dispelled in the morning by the light of the rising sun.

Think about the sorrow and the pain suffered after the crucifixion by those who knew and followed Jesus.
Is it coincidence that the following statements are so similar?
“The Sun rises in the morning,” and
“The Son (of God) rises in the mourning?”  I do not believe in coincidence! (Editors comment)