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Ash Wednesday

Read John 10:11-18 "I am the Good Shepherd."

"I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else, so no one can kidnap them from me. I and the Father are one." John 10: 28-30 (TLB)

Linda Chandra is from Banten, Indonesia. A friend of hers moved to another city, and Linda had not seen him in a long time. She learned from another friend that he was sick. So Linda sent him a Bible with John 10:28-30 written on the bookmark she slid inside.

Two weeks after Linda sent him the Bible, she received a reply: "The Bible verses you sent made me cry. I have been living far from God for a long time, and my life has become a mess. But it turns out that God's hand was always open to me. I am the one who removed my hand. I want to go back to holding God's hand."

Linda trusts that God never leaves us even though we often turn away from God. Our world is uncertain. Riots, chaos, gun violence, natural disasters, failure, bankruptcy, and illness mean we have no guarantee of safety. But God's loving presence remains steadfast, and God's promise of salvation is unshakable. No matter how far we feel we are from God, we can trust that God is always ready to take our hand and offer us new life.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for always extending your hand to us. Give us courage to return to you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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