Greetings in Christ,
Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday. Lent is an essential part of the Church year as it leads us to Good Friday and Easter. Easter is the heart of our faith and the weeks of preparation are not to be set aside. On the surface, Lent seems to be a gloomy time with its focus on repentance and preparation, but it is so much more than that.
If we are to know the deeper blessings of Easter, our Lenten journey is to be central in our lives in weeks before we celebrate Easter. Our journey begins this week with Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday is about the truth of who we are as human beings. As much as we would care not to admit it, we are all mortal. The truth spoken to us on Ash Wednesday is the final truth of our physical lives. We will one day be returned to the dust of the of the earth. All who are born will one day die. It is the one inescapable truth that every human being must acknowledge. We can delay it, ignore it, pretend that we will be exempt from it, but in the end it comes to us all.
Ash Wednesday reminds us of this truth, not to depress us, but to point us beyond ourselves to the One who has taken on our human nature, confronted and undone the power of death. Yes, the ashes placed on our foreheads are a reminder that we are dust, but they are also a promise that the One who has shared our humanity has come. By His death and resurrection, we no longer are enslaved by death which has no lasting victory over us.
So come to Ash Wednesday worship, receive the reminder of who we are and the promise of Jesus, crucified and risen from the dead.