Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ash Wednesday Reflections

{"The Expulsion" by Janice Williams Whiting}

I won’t be surprised if I always remember last night. As I mentioned earlier, it was my first time attending an Ash Wednesday service. I had read the Ash Wednesday liturgy the morning before, but there was something entirely different about participating in it. The words of the liturgy weighed heavily upon me and sank deeply in.

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word.”

In the name of the Church. That phrase struck me. By observing a holy Lent, I am uniting myself with the Church – past, present, and future. Some might say, “But Lent isn’t prescribed in Scripture.” No, but the Church, in her wisdom, call us into it. Furthermore, the acts self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, self-denial, and meditating certainly are prescribed in Scripture.

“To make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.”

The right beginning of repentance always takes place on our knees.

“…Grant that these ashes may be a sign of our mortality and penitence, that we may remember that it is only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

The ashes signify two things – our mortality and our penitence. Our frailty and our failures. That we are dust, and that we are penitent just like those who would mourn in sackcloth and ashes.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.


Amy said...

I came over from the Lenten Blog Carnival and enjoyed looking around your blog and reading your insights!

TwoSquareMeals said...

My first Ash Wednesday service was incredibly powerful for me, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and participating in the carnival.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...