Ash Wednesday

lives if we are to be fully connected to God who wants nothing more from us than that ... again that the tide, of this life, can just change in an instant. The palms.


Deacon Bob

Ash Wednesday 2019

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the 40 days of the Lenten season. It is a somber day of reflection, or it should be on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully connected to God who wants nothing more from us than that connection. Ash Wednesday was not always the way we know it to be today. Ashes, in older eras, marked the forehead of worshippers were not given to everyone, but only to the public penitents who were brought before the church. Much like Hester Prynne bearing her scarlet letter “A” in Hawthorne’s novel of the same name; these open and notorious sinners were marked publicly with the sign of their disgrace and shame and of their need of repentance.

As time went on, others began to show their humility and their affection for the penitents by asking that they, too, be marked as sinners. Finally, the number of penitents grew so large that the imposition of ashes was extended to the whole congregation in services similar to those that are observed in many Christian churches throughout world on Ash Wednesday. Lent is a season that should remind us to repent and get our act together, our priorities straight, and our hearts clean.


Deacon Bob

Ash Wednesday 2019

This holy season offers us a new chance to say, "Yes," to the One who created us, who made us in his own image; the one who will stick with us no matter what he have done; Who does that? Only God. Many of us have family and friends that we no longer speak to because of some grievance, perhaps, committed long ago – many times petty; but nonetheless perceived to be strong on both sides. There are regions and cultures around the world fighting to the death as I stand here. And many in those battles have no idea what the grievance was that started it all; they just know they are supposed to hate the other, and blood is spilled, sons and daughters sacrificed in generation after generation far from the original, perceived, sin. Lent is the time for personal change, for looking inside ourselves another chance to reboot so to speak, a chance to make it right with others, and, perhaps, to reconnect with the God who brought you here today - to this church for a reason or reasons, perhaps, still unknown to you – but nevertheless - here you are before this altar. God wants nothing more from us than to share the grace that he freely offers. If the world would only listen. We take so much for granted. I once heard someone say that each heartbeat is borrowed from God. What a good way to describe the fragility


Deacon Bob

Ash Wednesday 2019

of life. I reflect on my own life over the past year and remember those who have passed away – those who are not here today but were here in this church last Ash Wednesday. They are onto the next part of their journey. Today we are marked with ash, made from palms that were lifted high on last Palm Sunday to praise Jesus; he came to Jerusalem with much energy, blessings and hope, but he was killed a week later, reminding us again that the tide, of this life, can just change in an instant. The palms burnt to ash remind us consciously that we will one day turn to dust and ash, despite our human drive to live forever, and we do not know that day or the hour. For by God’s grace, we do not have to stay the way we are, and that is the real beauty of Lent; being forgiven by a God, despite what we have done, who promises to spend His Easter with us – forever.

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