"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' " Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
Our youth group had a special Ash Wednesday night. They went through prayer stations to reflect on the cross. Here are a few of the stations:
Oil - Anointing
Water - Washing away of sins
Clay - being molded in Christ's image
Ashes - reflecting on mortality and repentance of sin
I got to place a cross of ashes on each teen's forehead or hand (imposition of ashes). At first I was disappointed to not be going to the Ash Weds. Church Service, but then I pushed the disappointment away. Whatever the youth pastor needed me to do - that was where I needed to be. So, as I waited for teens to come to me to impose the ashes, I prayed for them and for our youth group, past, present, and future. I prayed that God would touch them. As I prayed, I realized again how much I love all those kids, that spreading on ashes means so much more. The act of my service to them means helping them find Jesus or to get closer to Him. My love for them is an act of loving Jesus.
I'm working on my own selfishness. Giving up things I want to do, even worthwhile things like church things or vacation time, for kingdom work is hard, but God seems to be working on me in that area. To put aside my wants, for Him, and His work. And He blesses me when I do.
What have you given up for Jesus?
For more information on Ash Wednesday: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/why-ashes-on-ash-wednesday