“Scarlett Ribbons” by Barbara Janis

Scarlet ribbons encircle me,

Tie me close yet set me free,

Scarlet ribbons, around my soul,     

Release my sin yet gently hold,

Scarlet ribbons, with a loving touch,

Cleanse and heal and mean so much!

Scarlet ribbons, by JESUS shed,

To purchase me He freely bled.

Scarlet ribbons that tie you and me, 

Tethered to CHRIST but Finally free,

Scarlet ribbons of perfect love,

Unite our souls to God above!

Born in a Grave

One of the stories told at the Nurnberg war trials was that of a group of Jews who had escaped from the gas chambers and had taken refuge in a cemetery.  They lived in the pits that had been dug to serve as graves.  One night a baby was born in one of those pits with the grave digger, an old Orthodox Jew, assisting in the birth.  When the baby uttered its first cry, the grave digger exclaimed, “Great God, have You finally sent the Messiah?  Who but the Messiah would be born in a grave?”


Little did that Orthodox Jew know that the real Messiah has come and has been reborn in a grave.  Jesus died, laid in a grave for three days, and then was born again.  He has done it for us so that we may be born again to new life!



Teaching from Luther’s Small Catechism


And lead us not into temptation.   What does this mean?


God indeed tempts no one, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us nor seduce us into disbelief, despair, and other great shame and vice; and though we be assailed by them, that still we may overcome and obtain the victory.


The Cross Was No Accident

The cross was drawn into the original blueprint.  It was written into the script.  The moment the forbidden fruit touched the lips of Eve, the shadow of a cross appeared on the horizon.  And between that moment and the moment the man with the mallet placed the spike against the wrist of God, a master plan was fulfilled.


What does that mean?  It means Jesus planned his own sacrifice.  It means Jesus intentionally planted the tree from which his cross would be carved.  It means he willingly placed the iron ore in the heart of the earth from which the nails would be cast.  It means he voluntarily placed his Judas in the womb of a woman.  It means Christ was the one who set in motion the political machinery that would send Pilate to Jerusalem.


And it also means he didn’t have to do it – but he did! 

Excerpted from Max Lucado’s God Came Near.


Teaching from Luther’s Small Catechism:


Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins, nor on their account deny our prayer; for we are worthy of none of the things for which we pray, neither have we deserved them; but that He would grant them all to us by grace; for we daily sin much and deserve nothing but punishment.  So will we also heartily forgive, and readily do good to those who sin against us.

The Dust of Lent

The season of Lent begins with the memory of finitude and mortality, the symbolism of dust.  On Ash Wednesday, Christians are marked with the sign of the mark of dust.  Looking foolish, with ashes on our foreheads, we confront our own mortality in the midst of a culture which tries to deny death’s reality.  The mark of dust identifies us as foolish.  Yet the sight is also of the cross of the crucified and risen Christ, the highest wisdom of all.  And so that mark speaks of His Kingdom of Glory!

Kenneth Leech from We Preach Christ Crucified.


Teaching from Luther’s Small Catechism:


Thy kingdom come. What does this mean?

The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.


How is this done?

When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life, here in time and hereafter in eternity.