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Just Another Wednesday?

22 Feb

I partook in an Ash Wednesday service last year at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Waupun.  My friend Peter Bird is the Vicar or Pastor there, and he had invited me.  I think it might have been my first Ash Wednesday service…ever. 

Ash Wednesday, for those not in the know, is a day of repentance which marks the beginning of Lent. Typically, the officiant makes a cross of dust on the penitent’s forehead, and says on this order: “From dust you were made; to dust you shall return.”

This evening, I read this thoughtful article on the meaning and message of Ash Wednesday…

Living in denial of death is typically a youthful response. We live recklessly, believing that death will come for the old, the weak, or the sick, but not for us. Such recklessness plunges out of airplanes and into strange beds, shunning any measure of caution.

Eventually, most death-deniers are brought into face-to-face encounters with the future they fear: the death of a friend or loved one, a bad diagnosis, an accident or close call. As the cultural myth goes, this brings us “down to earth” and we live in a more solemn acknowledgment of life’s realities…

Ash Wednesday serves to interrupt denial and panic both. It quietly reminds us, in the days before Easter, that death comes for all born under the curse, and it lays groundwork for the hope of Easter Sunday to ring all the louder and more powerful.

In truth, Ash Wednesday is about repentance and remembrance. We remember that Kansas wasn’t totally off the mark when they said, “All we are is dust in the wind”, and we are moved to repent for the sins in our lives which have become too casual, but for which Christ died.

So I don’t know if you made it to an Ash Wednesday service today, but if not, you would no doubt profit from a few minutes in the Lord’s presence remembering the reality of the curse…amidst the joyous backdrop of a risen Savior.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

3 responses to “Just Another Wednesday?

  1. James Schwindt

    February 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I have been going to a morning bible study with a bunch of older Episcapalian men. It has been such a blessing. We talked a little bit about Ash Wednesday this morning.

    Like

     
    • rogerknowlton

      February 23, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      James – thanks for all the comments, brother! You bless me, dude!

      Like

       
      • James Schwindt

        February 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

        Oh if our eyes would be open to the good things God has in store for each one of us!

        Roger, you in turn have blessed me and my family greatly. Thank you for responding to the call to serve the Lord as you have. Lives are being changed at our church, in our communities, and now around the world with this blog.

        Keep fighting the good fight! How can we waste time being discouraged? Our God is in control and works all things for his glory!

        Like

         

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