This week we celebrate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of our 40 days of wilderness wandering through the Season of Lent.
Please join us Wednesday at 6:30 P.M. with a pancake supper and then at 7 P.M. for a worship service with Imposition of Ashes at the entrance to the labyrinth. As you begin your walk, you will be invited to consider what you might need to let go of so you can walk your path with a "clean heart". Holy Communion is offered at the center of the labyrinth. This is a reflective time that is suitable for children who can walk the labyrinth quietly. Childcare is available for those children who would prefer to play with their friends.
The practice of the imposition of ashes began in the earliest centuries of Christianity. Those who desired to turn from sin had ashes sprinkled on their bodies as a sign of repentance. They would recall that Job repented "in dust and ashes" (Job 42.6). Around the tenth century, all Christians began to have ashes placed on their foreheads in the shape of a cross showing publicly their need for repentance. The cross has within it a foretaste of the joy to come.
On Ash Wednesday, we are reminded that we all come from dust and to dust we will return. This is both humbling and freeing. The ash cross on our forehead reminds us that we all are marked with the cross and, because of the cross, a love that never dies. On the other side of Good Friday and the cross is Easter joy.