Lift Up Your Hearts

Feb 26, 2020 by

Meditation for Ash Wednesday from Gafcon:

It is Ash Wednesday. Today we begin Lent. When we receive the imposition of ashes, we are told to remember that we are dust, and that we will return to dust. We are dust and ashes.

But too many of our persecuted brothers and sisters need no reminder that they are dust and ashes. Too many of our Christian family in such places as Nigeria, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have been turned into ashes because of their love for Jesus. Too many members of the Body of Christ’s bodies have been made into charred corpses by their persecutors and killers.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram, its ISIS-affiliated offshoot, Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), or Fulani jihadists have burned men, women, and children alive who were sleeping in their cars, or in their houses, or were in church. This is just one example from one country among so many. And it is just one method among far too many by which our brothers and sisters have become martyrs for the sake of the Gospel. 

I mention the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters in the northern and middle belt states of Nigeria in particular today because when you receive your ashes I want you to think about them. I want you to pray for the Church in Nigeria as your priest marks your forehead with the sign of the Cross. Think with love and sorrow of your brothers and sisters who are being marked in this fashion in Borno State, in Plateau State, and elsewhere.

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