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Daily Lenten Meditations—A Garland instead of Ashes

  • Posted on Feb 22, 2011

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion—to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. Isaiah 61: 1-3

The prophet Isaiah brings encouragement to the exiled and the oppressed in this selection from the Book of Isaiah. This passage of Scripture is also recommended to be read at funerals. This was read at Memorialite Barbara Swain’s funeral just a week or so ago. It is a hopeful passage for those of us who are separated from God in any way—whether through the death of a beloved, an illness, or a dark night of the soul.

This Lent, I will use the theme “A Garland instead of Ashes” for a daily Lenten mediation. I invite all to send your comments on this theme in to this blog. I look forward to walking the way of the cross with you this Lent….for it is the way of life. 

Daily Mediations begin on Ash Wednesday, March 9, 2011.