Ash Wednesday

25446120_10156169087488627_7353441604527499735_n    Today is Ash Wednesday the beginning of the Lent Season which is forty days between now and Easter Sunday, except that each Sunday in the season of lent in not counted. Ashes is a reminder that we are dust, and to dust we shall return, and repent, and believe in the gospel. Ashes were an ancient symbol of our humanity. In Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. On the first day of lent, we come before God recognizing our humanity and repenting of our sins. Lent leads to Easter the day we celebrate that though our bodies are flawed, a day of resurrection will come when we lived in the presence of God forever. On Ash Wednesday we go to church remembering who we are, with the hope of who we can become. 

Why Ashes? In Jewish and Christian history, ashes are a sign of mortality and repentance. Morality, because when we die, our bodies eventually decompose and we become dust/dirt/ash/Repentance because long ago when people felt remorse for something they did, they would put ashes on their head and wear “sackcloth” to remind them that sin is pretty uncomfortable and leads to a sort of death of the spirit. This was their way of confessing their sins and asking for forgiveness.

Where do the ashes come from? On what we now call Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem while people waved and cheered him on. Less then a week later, Jesus would be killed. The palms that were waved in joy became ashes of sorrow. We get the ashes for Ash Wednesday by saving the psalms from Palm Sunday, burning them, and mixing them with a little oil. It’s symbolic.

What Do Christians do with ashes? At a service which is held on Ash Wednesday people are invited to come forward in the service and a pastor or priest make a small cross of their forehead by smudging the ashes. While the ashes remind us of mortality and sin, the cross reminds us of Jesus’ resurrection (life after death) and forgiveness. It’s a powerful, non-verbal way that we can experience God’s forgiveness and renewal as we return to Jesus.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends 

 

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Ash Wednesday

untitled5465.pngThe season of lent will begin on Ash Wednesday March 1, 2017 and will end on Saturday April 16,2017. Ash Wednesday is an important day to us as Christians, many of us will attend some kind of service. It is in many ways a somber day, many pastors will smudge ashes on our forehead at some point of the service in a sign of the cross. These ashes that a pastor uses are the psalms from last year Psalm Sunday. They remind us of our mortality and calls us to repentance-seeking God’s forgiveness for our sin, both the things we have and also for the ones we have not done yet.

During these forty days of lent we can take a hard look at our own lives, as we draw closer to God, and his desire for our own lives. God has a plan for your life as well as my own and that no one but you or I can do. We can do different things such as forgive someone who has wrong you in someway, and believe me that is one that is so hard for any human to do. You may need to ask someone for their forgiveness if you have wrong them in anyway, and more important you need to forgive yourself of any sin that you seem to hold on to. Jesus already died on the cross for all our sins and he has forgiven you, now you must forgive yourself. Take time out to pray, pray thru out your day, pray is our conversation that we have with God everyday. Some people fast, at times a meal, some may do an entire day what ever is best for you and always check with your doctor before you begin to do any fasting. Find a way during this season to serve, in a church, your community, the possibility are endless for all. One thing that we can do is BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD  (Psalm 46:10) it is when we are quiet that we can hear what God needs to share with us, and hear his calling on own life.

Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin.

 

Grace and Peace to you my friends