Next Wednesday, we will observe Ash Wednesday through an online service on Zoom. Ashes are an ancient sign of repentance. Since the Middle Ages, it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. Each year we come together to receive ashes and turn our attention to the creative power of God and God’s ability to heal the brokenness in our lives. It is a sign that grounds us.
Through it we remember:
- People suffering around the world
- That we all fall short, sin, and need repentance and reconciliation
- That in the passage of time, we will all die someday
- Of Jesus’ ministry in broken places, shared suffering with the most oppressed, death, and resurrection
- That in the midst of this, we are still loved children of God!
We see the season of Lent as a time for getting ready. A time to stop, reset, and recharge so that we can intentionally turn to God and prepare for Easter’s celebration of resurrection. But how do we get ready? The best way is to engage in things that bring us renewal, joy, and connection to the Spirit. This includes whatever helps you clear out the clutter and refocus on things. You can make time for fun, try different forms of prayer or meditation, reach out to people that encourage you, or follow a devotional (see some free options below).
For seven years, we have offered ashes in our parking lot to those passing by, because God meets us where we are. We encouraged our members and those stopping by to remain attentive to the ways God seeks to meet us. We affirm this persistent presence of God this year as well as we observe the day in our homes and pray for the Ash Wednesday community of neighbors we have built over the years and will not get to see next week.