Ash Wednesday often brings my spirit to a halt. In the earliest centuries, Christians who had been immersed in persistent sin had ashes sprinkled on their bodies as a sign of repentance. Around the tenth century, believers began to signify their need for repentance by having ashes placed on their foreheads in the shape of a cross.
Today, many churches have Ash Wednesday worship services where worshippers are encouraged to openly acknowledge frailty and sinfulness. In a world that often expects us to be perfect, Ash Wednesday gives us an opportunity to freely confess our imperfections. The imposition of ashes on our foreheads are symbolic of our confessions.
So as my spirit sits in holy stillness today, I ask myself where I go from here. Where will this Ash Wednesday take me? What willLent’s forty days hold for me this year?
I considered giving up my blog writing for Lent, but that didn’t feel right. There is something about writing every day that is transformative for me. Yet, I have to admit that I sometimes tell myself that my blog of random thoughts is not something that anyone wants to read every day.
I often threaten to quit writing. But every time I do, I have a flood of mildly profound thoughts that beg to be recorded. So I keep writing, and every once in a while, I receive the blessing of hearing from a reader that benefitted from my words. Most of all, I write as a personal discipline, a spiritual discipline that forces me to engage my heart and my soul.
So how will I move through Lent? I will continue to write. I will post a daily Scripture on my Facebook page, hoping that even one Facebook friend might be lifted just for a moment from the activities of a busy life.
Most importantly, I pray that you will experience a holy Ash Wednesday and that your Lenten journey might be a time of spiritual growth and renewed faith. Today, may we symbolically mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross as a reminder of the crucifixion of Jesus. And then let us move through Lent holding tightly to the hope of the resurrection.