“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).

January, that sometimes long, dreary month, is behind us and you’re looking ahead to spring. Are you getting ready? Have you looked at the garden catalogs, checked what still fits in your spring wardrobe, thought about what you might do with the slowly lengthening days? Are you prepared? But have you forgotten something? Something other than longer, warmer days is also coming.

Are you prepared for Lent? Ash Wednesday, the day we begin our six-week journey in Christ’s footsteps to the cross, is March 5th. What will you do to prepare for that day, those six weeks?

You can be sure your pastor, choir director, teachers, organists, and missionaries are already planning ahead. That’s obvious – they have services, music, outreach efforts, and the like to think about. But what about you? Does your heart need preparation? In order for the joy of Easter to have profound meaning, we need to have a profound appreciation of our sinfulness, our need for Someone to save us from sin, and what our Savior endured to provide our salvation.

Make preparations now to connect with God through his Word in a special way this Lenten season – mark your calendars with the Wednesday Lenten services. Plan on attending Sunday morning Bible class or one of the mid-week Bible studies offered. Read your Catechism—Luther’s explanation of the Ten Commandments shows you clearly your tendency to fall into sin, and his explanation of the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed shows clearly what Christ has done for you. Then commit yourself to renewed devotion to our loving God and to a greater determination to show your gratitude for his love by living a life that focuses on things eternal, rather than on the temptations of the world.

Look around your circle of family, friends, church acquaintances. Would your Lenten preparations be a way to encourage another woman to become more connected through God’s Word? Would your dedication to Bible study and worship set an example for a young woman to follow your pattern? Make a point of inviting someone to join you in worship and Bible study—use that connection to share what LWMS is all about and how it provides opportunities for women of all ages and abilities to let their faith shine by supporting missions at home and abroad.

When we ponder the incomprehensible love of the Father that caused him to send his dearly loved Son to this sinful world; when we ponder the incomprehensible willingness of the Son of God to take on human flesh and suffer and die for filthy sinners; when we ponder that the Holy Spirit has placed saving faith in OUR hearts—through no worthiness on our part—then, dear Sisters, we will be moved to increase our own mission support and continue to encourage others to do the same.

The powerful nature of prayer is demonstrated time and time again in the Bible, and that’s the main thing our missionaries ask of us. And anyone can pray—you need no special training, certification, or even a big vocabulary. Just speak to our loving heavenly Father about what’s on your heart, especially as you learn details of the challenges and joys that fill our missionaries’ lives and the lives of the people they serve. Share this idea of prayer support with the women in your family and congregation, so that thousands of voices rise up like incense to the mercy seat of our gracious God.

Lord, you have brought us to see our sin and need for a Savior from that sin. We thank you that you sent Jesus to be that Savior for us and for all peoples of this world. Make us your instruments to proclaim this message to others as well as to pray for those who seek to proclaim Jesus and him crucified and risen throughout the world. Amen.