Ash Wednesday Oddness

Ash Wednesday Oddness

Maybe it was the red-eye flight from Phoenix last night. Maybe it was going from 80 degree sunshine to 20 degree spitting snow. Or maybe it was a 1:00 am bedtime after the late flight, or the lack of enough caffeine to jump start the day. Or maybe it was the outcome in New Hampshire as the drama of the year moves south to the Carolinas. Or maybe it was reading Psalm 51 and having ashes smeared on my forehead in chapel this morning on this Ash Wednesday.

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Branded for Death: Reflections on Ash Wednesday and Lent

Branded for Death: Reflections on Ash Wednesday and Lent

I did not observe Ash Wednesday and Lent until later in life. There was only one Catholic Church in my hometown, and I actually do not recall knowing a Roman Catholic my age. Giving up something for Lent was more like the run-up to a punch line, or a silly comment made regarding a new diet. I was in my 30s before I saw a human with ashes smudged on their forehead.

My introduction to Lent started with the task of preaching. I’ve always preached series of sermons, mostly through a book of the Bible. And leading up to Easter, I normally selected one of the gospels to take us toward the resurrection. It began to be a pattern. The more I came to grasp what Lent meant, the more I understood the rhythm of the Christian calendar and the need for us to live into the Christian story.

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