Day 28: Beauty in a broken world

How do we find ourselves at Palm Sunday again? Western Christians celebrate it today, and I wanted to give a nod in today’s photo to what is always a hard week for me. I love Easter, but Palm Sunday always leaves me a bit sad. Sure, there’s Jesus’ triumphal entry riding on the donkey with crowds waving palms and shouting His praises. But the days between Palm Sunday and Easter are not jubilant. The crowd turns. One of the men closest to Jesus betrays him. Jesus ends up on a cross, dead. It’s a comfort, in a terrible week like that, to have the Easter message to hold on to.

Resurgam: I will rise again.

A sign above a door at Mission San Juan Capistrano

As I’ve done each Sunday in this month-long series, I’ve stepped back into the past by wandering through old trip photos. I took more traditionally beautiful pictures during my visit to Mission San Juan Capistrano several years ago. But this photo’s message is the most beautiful I could choose for today and for the week ahead.

Join me in the hunt for beauty?
Where do you see beauty in a broken world? Want to add your own images during what’s left in the 31-day journey? If so, feel free to comment below with your Instagram handle, and tag your Insta posts with #beautyinabrokenworld. You’ll find me there @pixofhope.

The ashes of our celebrations

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent that will be a time of penitence and preparation for Easter.

As you know from last week’s post on obedience, I’m struggling to obey God’s call. Being sorry for that struggle comes easily to me. Being ashamed of it does, too. However, Lent isn’t about shame. It’s about repenting – turning back around toward God. And that’s exactly what I intend to do during this Lenten season: turn to face God and to learn to hear His voice and obey His call in my life.

To mark that intention, I’ll go to my church’s Ash Wednesday service tonight and have a minister place ashes on my forehead as a reminder of my desire to repent and of the promise of God’s gracious forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Even as far back as the old testament, people repented by wearing sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes. While I’m glad the church doesn’t require us to wear sackcloth until Easter, I’m also glad for the blessing of wearing ashes, even for such a short time, as a reminder to focus on God’s work in this season.

May I tell you a bit about the ashes at my church?  Continue reading