Ash Wednesday: Day1 of Lent
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; 2 for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.” Mark 14:1-2
Also Matthew 26:3-5; Luke 22:1-2; John 11:47-53.
We heartily condemn them, Lord, but we understand them as well.
We’ve been exposed to the same temptations.
They weren’t the first – or the last -to want to preserve their own status and authority.
And we understand their arguments very well; we’ve heard them so often in councils and committees.
We feel uncomfortable when we examine their methods;
We too are afraid of anything that seems to threaten us.
And there are people we would prefer to exclude from our associations.
And, not to put too fine a point on it, we sometimes devise schemes to use other people
or try to manipulate those close to us.
In this season of penitence,
as we see something of ourselves in them, have mercy upon us;
forbid that we should ever use our powers for our own ends;
nor let us ever, ever, exclude anyone
-for that would mean excluding you.