It’s hard to believe that we are about to enter the Lenten season, but here we are! Lent starts with our Ash Wednesday service this year on Wednesday, February 22. Lent itself will last 40 days from the 22, minus Sundays, which are seen as days of celebration and resurrection even in the midst of the Lenten season. The name “Ash Wednesday” gets its name because of the ashes customarily placed on the forehead of worshipers during the service.
The use of ashes in this way represents our mortality and repentance. In Job 42:4-5, Job has been confronted by God and says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job sees God in the midst of his own sin and responds in repentance by sitting in ashes. We do not physically “sit in ashes” but we are invited to reflect, pray, and sit in repentance. Genesis 3:19 also uses the imagery of ashes when the Lord says to Adam and Eve, “For you are dust, and to dust you will return.” Ash Wednesday is an invitation to repent and to believe in the gospel of Jesus- that we have been cleansed of our own sin, purified by fire, and saved by the blood of Jesus. Amen and amen!
Repentance is such an important part of our spiritual journey, and calls us to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. On Ash Wednesday, we have that opportunity to look back with gratitude for what God has done for us through Jesus, and then to look forward in hope because God is still with us.
Together let’s gather to give thanks for our redemption in Christ and fix our eyes on Jesus. I pray you’ll be able to worship with us on February 22nd for our Ash Wednesday service.
Ash Wednesday Service
February 22, 2023