The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Return trip

God gives us a chance to start over on our path to Lent

I confess: I did a lousy job of observing Lent last year. Really lousy. I was starting a business, which consumed most of my time and emotional energy. That’s no excuse, of course, just an explanation.

PhotodiscBut I was happy to stumble on this passage from Joel the other day: “Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing” (2:12-13).

If I read Joel correctly, I get a do-over! Yes, I did an exceptionally poor job observing Lent last year, but Joel tells me that God is gracious and merciful, just waiting for me to return. That’s good news.

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February issue


Embracing diversity