Ash Wednesday

Isaiah 58:1–12, Psalm 51:1–17, Matthew 6:19–21

Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent, the reflective Christian journey to the cross. One of the symbolic pieces are the themselves. The “official” is that the are from last year’s Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the day that observes Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem with the pomp and circumstance of a ruler. This jubilation is crushed that same week with his crucifixion. The , therefore, are a somber reminder of earthly pride, joy, and power crushed. Often they are a reminder of our own prides and joys and their short-term nature.

In the “spirit” of , the following is a modified form of the Book of Common Prayer’s Burial liturgy:
In sure and certain of the to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God oursleves—our very beings; and we commit our bodies and lives to serve your on earth; earth to earth, to , to . The Lord bless us and keep us, the Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us, the Lord lift up his countenance upon us and us .

It seems strange and morbid to share a passage from a burial rite, yet an integral part of Ash Wednesday is our mortality. Another part, the part which we often focus on during Lent, is our frailty. By frailty, we mean and the weaknesses inherent to the human condition. What we may “ up” during Lent is a reflection upon what we believe is one of our biggest “frailties” at the moment, meaning it can .
The importance of understanding our finiteness, our mortality, is summed up in Jesus’ words regarding the storage of treasures. The earthly stuff is stolen or rots. It doesn’t last. Only treasures that we store in Heaven last forever. Those treasures are people.

1) We are all “n” treasures that we are responsible for that are not our children, grandchildren, or other family members. Who are those treasures in your life?

2) Why is important to the quickness of life when as we approach the cross in our spiritual journey?

3) What do you value: time, money, things, people? All of these have value. Which has priority?

FD) On Ash Wednesday a cross of is put on our forehead. Why ? Why a cross?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.