This is were we begin our Lenten journey
Can you believe it, it is already Lent? We begin our Lenten Journey on February 10th with Ash Wednesday. As I have been reflecting on Ash Wednesday, I have been thinking about the practice of ashes being marked on our foreheads. Each year we hold a worship service where we can gather and remember that we have come from ashes and to ashes we will return. When we think of it only in that way, it can seem morbid. It is an act that reminds of our mortality. But it is in remembering our mortality that we remember that death is not the final answer. We receive the mark of ashes on our foreheads to be reminded that in the cross, we have new life in Christ.
Matthew 6:1-6Giving to the Needy“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Prayer“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:16-21Fasting“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Dust to dust, ashes to ashesWhat is Ash Wednesday? Check out the resources linked below.
What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday: Telling the Truth
Dust to Dust, ashes to ashes
Fun Fact* The ashes that we use on Ash Wednesday are the Palms that we used from the previous years Palm Sunday. The Palms from the celebration of Christ’s entry in to the city are taken and burned down to be used to make the sign of the cross, reminding us that this life is fleeting. Celebrating one moment, mourning the next. But the constant is the promise we have in Jesus.