Archive for February 26th, 2009

February 26, 2009

Ash Wedensday

Today the girls and I met Bridge in downtown and we went to St Andrews Episcopal church.  It was my first ever observance of Ash Wednesday.  It happened kind of last minute, on a whim, I may have been the only person there in jeans, but I love that it happened, the timing seems right .
We walked to the church together.  It's one I've passed and noticed before.  It's grand and ancient looking.  Everything in it seems wonderfully heavy and intricately crafted.  Inside and out, the beauty of that place is almost overwhelming.  

It was also my first ever liturgical service of any kind.
And the ceremony of it all was also almost overwhelming in it's beauty. 
From the sobering readings, to the kneeling at the altar for communion, to the ashes on our heads, the whole thing was so much more than symbolic. 
 I'm sure I'm not as educated as I could or should be about this day and this season, but I love that it feels like a call to something deeper.
A call to look at my sin honestly. 
A call to repent. 
A call to ponder death and human frailty.
Seemingly dark things made light by the Hope of Glory and His death on the cross. 
So it's more like an opportunity to reach out and grasp the grace handed to us. 
And I don't know of a more life changing opportunity.

And these words from the Rev. Margaret W. Jones:
Ash Wednesday is the gateway to Lent.
We have forty precious days to open ourselves up most particularly to God,
to examine ourselves in the presence of one who created us, knows us, and loves us.
We have forty days to face ourselves and learn to not be afraid of our sinfulness.
We ARE dust, and to dust we shall return, but with God’s grace we can learn to live this life more fully,
embracing our sinfulness, allowing God to transform us.
Thanks be to God for this forceful, sobering day.
 May God grant us:
    the wisdom to know ourselves;
    the courage to admit our sins;
    and the grace to receive God’s never-failing mercy and forgiveness.

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