Ash Wednesday

Heralding in the 40 Days of Lent

Heralding in the 40 Days of Lent

As a child in Brooklyn I never understood what Ash Wednesday was. All I knew was that once a year the Catholic students would be marked on their foreheads. When I got older I learned that Ash Wednesday was important for all Christian people, as an outward sign of contemplation and preparation for walking the last days of Christ's life with him in spirit.
Ash Wednesday is a day for humility and penitence, heralding in the 40 days of Lent.  It is a time to let the past be the past and to look forward to new beginnings. The ashes are a silent but powerful reminder that we are not ours, but that we belong to the God who made us. It is good to be able to rest and be still and know that God is God.
The scripture from Joel 2:12-13A sends us a true message:
“Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate...."

We need to remember it is only by God's unchanging grace that we are here. We need to give thanks—always taking the time to be, as the old hymns song say, "holy".

Posted or updated: 2/28/2014 11:00:00 PM
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Seasonal Devotions