Lent Devotional | Ash Wednesday

Hope in Brokenness

He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. (Isaiah 61:3)

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent: a season of rest, reflection, repentance, reconciliation, and restoration. It is a time to slow down from our fast-paced lifestyle and find hope and healing in Christ in the midst of our own brokenness. Traditionally, ashes are used to mark a cross on our foreheads as a remembrance of our frailty and that we are created from the dust of the earth. The symbol of the cross points us towards the culmination of the Lenten season celebrated in the death and resurrection of Jesus who is our living hope!

We have all faced brokenness, perhaps even more so over the last few years in the midst of the pandemic. You may even still be facing a trial, sickness, heartbreak, loss, financial difficulty, despair, sorrow, loneliness, doubt, or pain. As we begin our journey through Lent, how will you hit pause in order to rest in the hope of Jesus? As we sit in our brokenness, surrender our desires, and yield to His will, we can experience the true meaning of Easter. The penitent thief did as he came to the end, himself. He was hanging on the cross in deep despair, facing the punishment for his sins, and looking into an uncertain future. Then, he turned his head to see eternal love shining in the face of Jesus. In his brokenness, he cried for mercy and the Lord heard him! “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). We can sit still…pause…reflect…breathe deeply…hope! That thief experienced hope beyond the grave.

Beyond the brokenness of our past, the pain of the present, and the anxiety of the future, lies the wonder of the cross, the power of the resurrection, and the hope of the restorative work of Jesus to reconcile us to God. As we meditate on the ashes today, let’s remember our human fragility, our immense need for the Saviour, and how our brokenness is made whole through the redemptive work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. The proclamation of the gospel includes good news for the poor, comfort for the broken-hearted, freedom for the oppressed, crowning beauty for ashes, joy in times of mourning, and festive praise in seasons of despair (Isaiah 61:1-3). What do you need Him to do today? We can turn our eyes upon Jesus, our Saviour!

Daniel Mills

Daniel Mills

Lead Pastor
Unionville Alliance Church

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you that you bring wholeness and healing to my brokenness. Help me to experience the joy of your presence and the hope that goes beyond the grave. In my frailty, I look to you for comfort, strength, and grace. Satisfy me with your love.

Application

What is broken in your life? Consider the type of healing that you need: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and relationally. As you begin your Lenten journey, speak the name of Jesus over every situation and circumstance in your life. Believe His promises, trust His Word, and rest in His finished work for you.

Read the devotions

Rupen Das

Ash Wednesday

Hope in Brokenness
Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Hope in Fear
Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

Hope in Doubt

Good Friday

Good Friday

Hope in Sorrow

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

Hope in Despair