Please read Romans 5: 1 - 11
As we read what Paul wrote in Romans 5: 1 - 11 we come up against many of the sufferings that Paul went through for his devotion to Jesus. Paul was originally Saul until he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) and instead of being vilified or harshly put down for his persecution of Christians, he found a love so deep and forgiveness so genuine that it changed his life and his life's direction. Paul never preached that Christianity was easy or without the need for great endurance, and through this he found hope in the presence of the Christ who was with him even in the worst of times. What could have meant ashes in Paul's life became great rejoicing as he learned the loving way of the Christ no matter what was happening in his personal life. Through this love was born hope and Paul went from ashes to rejoicing and continued to invite others to join him just as he reaches out now to you and I to put our trust in the Son of God as we travel this Lenten journey with him.
Gracious God your love lifts us from the darkness to the light and gives the gift of your holy presence as we journey toward the cross. May we rejoice in your presence and find ways to thank you through serving others. In Christ's name we pray and offer thanks.
Rev Harry Bolen (retired)
Member of Regional Spiritual Life Committee