"From Dust, You Were Created, and To Dust, You Shall Return"
“Repent and Believe in the Gospel”
This week will begin the observance of the Lenten season. Notice I said observance. This is because the temptations that draw us away from God are nothing to celebrate. I will say more about that in the coming weeks as I discuss my own time and temptations during fasting. Regardless this season will begin with a moment known as Ash Wednesday. Before becoming a Methodist, I thought that Ash Wednesday was something only Catholics did. The truth, however, most of the early Protestant churches observe Ash Wednesday. This practice is a beautiful, yet a humbling moment.
The practice of blessing using ashes in religious service goes back to scripture (2 Samuel 13:19) when ashes were a sign of grief and loss. Today, the meaning has changed very little. We still use them as a humble sign of our grief. In the world of today's church, there is a desire to live into the call of Jesus to be a light on a hill in a dark world. All one needs to do is turn on the news (please don't) or read a newspaper to become aware that there is so much pain in the world. Ash Wednesday, is the day that we remember that this life is finite. There will come a day when all this will pass away, and all will return to the ash in which it once rose. And on that day, because we, "Repent and Believe in the Gospel" we are filled with the Good News that there is more. So, let us be grieved for the pain in the world and hopeful for the Kingdom we are building… On Earth, as it is in Heaven.
For more information on Ash Wednesday, I would encourage you to read this article from Ministry Matters.