Wednesday, February 22, 2012
"Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down"
My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.
Today is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Lent. A season in the church year dedicated to repentance and fasting. To the giving up or taking on of a practice which will draw us closer to the Lord.
It is also a time when we are asked, willingly or unwillingly, to contemplate our own mortality. The ashes from palms burned after the previous Palm Sunday are used to place the symbol of the cross on our foreheads.
The symbol of suffering.
Of dying . . .
When the Father turned His face away. For. Just. That. Moment . . .
And, eternal flesh and blood succumbed to death.
Became fully one of us.
The living who will die.
Flickering shadows. Shriveled grasses.
The bodies returned to the dust . . .
Yet, out of the ashes a promise is raised.
Of new life. Of hope. Of faith renewed.
For down this long, reflective, self-denying, forty-day road - a light.
Glorious in splendor.
Shining from an empty tomb.
He is risen!
We, too, will rise from the ashes.
And, enter into new life with the Lord.
Will you be attending an Ash Wednesday service?
Will you pray with me?
During this season of Lent, Father, give to us repentant and obedient hearts. Help those practices we are giving up or the disciplines we are taking on draw us closer to You. Prepare us in all humility to receive joyously at the end of this journey Your promise of eternal life. Amen.
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