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Empty Pockets

  Pastor James Gomez (Prince of Peace Lutheran Church) called me a month ago asking me to participate in the church’s Ash Wednesday service and I happily agreed. Lent is a new thing to me and this was my first time attending an Ash Wednesday observance. Growing up in a Baptist Church, Lent was categorized in my mind as some crazy thing that my Catholic and Lutheran school friends did. But as I’ve grown to adulthood, there have been too many Easter weekends which have come upon me ill-prepared. Demands of work and home have distracted me. Maybe you’ve experienced that too.   As I watched Pastor James apply ashes on the foreheads of his flock, I heard him say to each person, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” As I pondered the experience long after the service was over, his words reminded me of the first Beatitude that Jesus gave his disciples: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 5:3) The first step of a vibrant faith is

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