In the middle of this season of ashes we considered two rather difficult passages of scripture this Sunday.
In Sunday School we made it to the 2nd chapter of Malachi as we continued to consider worship that truly honors God. God's message this time was a harsh rebuke to the priests who had broken their covenant and no longer honor God. How have we in turn corrupted God's covenant, made the Church contemptible to others, not kept God's ways, or shown partiality?
Our sermon concentrated on Mark 10:17-31 as we follow Jesus to His last encounters before the cross in order to see ourselves as we truly are and see Jesus as He is. The rich, young ruler was obviously sincere in his obedience to God and His laws, but after all was said and done, his was not the trust of a child and he had no love for others.
Our final hymn, "Take Up Your Cross," noted the necessity of taking up our crosses so that we might in the end have a crown of beauty instead of ashes. Charles Everest's text reminds us not to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the cross' weight or shame, but to press on towards our goal.