Based on a fifth century icon in the Byzantine Museum Athens.

This past Wednesday evening members of a variety of downtown churches gathered to begin our walk towards Easter together. As ashes were placed upon our flesh in the shape of the cross, we acknowledged our frailty and failings … but also our hope. It is all rather counter-intuitive but profoundly true – in allowing an emptying we enter into an experience of being filled, by the grace of God known in Jesus Christ.

The Kingston Symphony will be offering a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah on March 15th. It offers us a great opportunity on Sunday mornings to consider the gospel for human life anew through the experience of Elijah. We begin this morning with Elijah having fled to the wilderness, alone and vulnerable. But there the ravens bring him bread in the morning and meat in the evening. And when the brook Cherith dries up and he must flee further, the small quantity of flour and oil of an equally vulnerable widow are replenished day by day sufficiently to sustain both of them (I Kings 17:1-16). The providence of God. Life rarely unfolds as we choose or plan, but by the grace of God there is life.

When we gathered to plan our next combined community service, for Good Friday, I passed a phrase on the church office countertop – ‘Inhale love, exhale gratitude’. This will be a season in which I will focus even more fully upon the daily love of God that sustains me and us, and respond naturally and fully with gratitude.

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