When I think of Ash Wednesday, I remember countless times where I have worn an ash cross on my forehead, forgotten about it, and have been asked by a cashier, “Is there something on your forehead?” The ash cross is humbling, it makes us stand out as Christians on a day where we remember our humanness, our sin and our need to repent.
Ash Wednesday is also an invitation. It is an invitation to walk a journey of the story of Jesus once again all the way to the cross, and then to the hope of the resurrection. This invitation begins with our baptisms. At baptism, we are initiated into the body of Christ. We are called out, forgiven, transformed and made new. The ash cross is a similar invitation. It is a reminder as those who follow Jesus, that this faith thing isn’t about us, it is about the redeeming work of Jesus.
I want to invite you to enter these next 6 weeks, in the season we call Lent (6 weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter), as a holy time of growing deeply in love with God and our neighbors. We often talk about doing the same things each Lent by giving up chocolate, coffee, or some other small vice. Instead of these things, I invite you to consider these expressions of Holy Lent in this year:
1. Come to worship weekly when in town.
2. Read the Bible daily (if not already)
- Daily scripture readings listed at the bottom of this page.
- Launch class on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am in the Quad Room will be discussing Sunday scriptures from the gospel of Luke. You are invited to participate!
3. Participate in All-Serve Saturday on March 18 and/or April 8.
4. Give a Lent offering to the Proyecto Abrigo Serving Trip.
5. Invite a friend to join you in worship on a Sunday, Holy Week or Easter.
If you are not already participating in a daily reading of scripture, I hope you will choose this week to begin in the book of Luke and with passion narratives in the Gospels. We will email out weekly devotions and scriptures each week for this until the week after Easter.
There is also a daily devotional opportunity here from the North Texas Conference: http://www.walkingtogetherntc.org/.
I pray for us as a church today on this Ash Wednesday, that in these next weeks we may know in deeper the power of the Holy Spirit working in, through and around us to draw us into the live-saving, redeeming story of Jesus the Christ.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Holly G. Bandel