Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. I suppose I could go into a long diatribe about the history, etc. of Lent but that isn’t really the point. Lent is about remembering we are mortal, remembering we are entirely dependent on God. It is a call to remember who and what we are. To repent and return.
There are as many ways to follow Lent as there are practicing Christians and I’m not here to tell you the “right” way. But I do beg of you to commit to a Holy Lent. Take the time to do some self-reflection, to meditate and pray, to give yourself wholly to God. If we take the time to refocus and we are open to God, I promise we will all be changed.
There are a variety of meditations available to you. Several are available online and we have meditation booklets at the church. Here are two such meditations:
I hope the following prayer speaks to you. It says more clearly than I ever could what must be said on this day.
“Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.”
-Ash Wednesday Liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer