Ash Wednesday

I have never observed Ash Wednesday and I have never really observed Lent before. But I went to the Lutheran church for Ash Wednesday this year. The most moving thing was after having gone forward to be marked with ashes, walking back to my seat, seeing rows of people with crosses marked on their foreheads. People who, moments before, were successful, well-dressed business people or what have you, now humbly marked with the sign of the cross. Not a gold necklace with a 14 karat cross charm dangling now, but a cross-shaped smear of ashes across the forehead. Now identified, not by trappings of their success–a tidy outfit, a fresh haircut–and their masks of self-sufficiency, but identified with Christ in a primitive and ancient way. I walked back, that same cross-shaped smudge of ashes across my forehead. It was a moment of sharing that we belong to Christ–not in the easy, enjoyable sense of all being God’s children, but in a more solemn sense.

About katiekind

Enjoying the second half of life. I have three sons who are the apples of my eye and a wonderful husband of 35 years--those are the important things. Long ago, out of the blue, I became a Christian. It was something I never planned on, but what joy it has been. I do website development and I like to read and garden and paint and I love beauty and truth.
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3 Responses to Ash Wednesday

  1. kristen says:

    What a lovely description, and so true.

    We’re on an Ash Wednesday streak, we’ve never missed one as a family and this year was particularly difficult and at one point during the long, unexpected sermon I wondered why we were there, until I saw the cross of ashes on the foreheads of my children, reminding them like we tell them every day, that they belong to Christ.

  2. katiekind says:

    I remember you writing about seeing the ashen cross on your daughter’s forehead and being reminded that she is your sister in Christ. It was word picture that has stayed with me.

  3. kate5kiwis says:

    hubby has been teaching at a catholic school for two years.
    he loves this tradition, and for the last two years, we’ve observed Lent.
    casting off one thing and taking up one thing. it’s been fabulous.

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