Yep, today is Ash Wednesday. I love it. Service was packed tonight. It is amazing who shows up when the weather isn’t horrid! We doubled the number of folks with cross shaped smudges on their foreheads from last year. Last year it was if I remember correctly snowy and icy. This year that junk is waiting until Thursday to show up.
I get all emotional on when people come up to receive their ashen cross. The words and the life experiences they are going through often get me… right… there… uff. A lady with cancer, another woman who just lost her mother, a guy with a nasty temper, but a heart of gold, little kids kneeling in front of me, not really sure what is going on, but they too are dust and to dust they shall return. In all of this darkness, still the word of promise rings all around me, in the stained glass, the cross that adorns our East wall, and the bread and wine, neatly and reverently covered on the altar, just waiting to be poured out into our lives, to feed us with the true life that is in Christ. It is just completely AWESOME!
There is a phrase we use in our confession, “we confess to you and to one another, and before the whole company of heaven, that we have sinned by our fault, by our own fault, by our own most grievous fault, in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.” Some folks don’t like that so much. Makes ’em feel bad I guess. But, I think if we are honest it is our fault, much of what we do and don’t do that harms our relationship with God, with others and the whole creation is at some level our fault. Corporately or individually we have enough faults to make California seem solid in comparison. But even with our Mea Culpa’s our own most grievous fault is not where things are left. The point of the smudgy little cross on your forehead is that on the cross Christ came and moved us beyond that deep grievous valley and into the bright sunshine of life!
Ok, enough for now… I have started my 40 day blog officially now… we will see where God leads us!