Ash Wednesday Article
In a year where death has been at the forefront of many hearts and minds, it’s not a long walk to reach the truth that we are made of dust and to dust we shall return (Genesis 3:19; Psalm 103:14). Mere mortals yet made with eternity in our hearts. Sinful human beings in a need of an all-sufficient Savior. The prophet Isaiah said it well: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5) In the presence of the King of kings, every human heart is exposed. What becomes increasingly clear is how sinful we are and how holy he is.
Ash Wednesday is designed to sit with this painful and beautiful truth. Ashes burnt from palm branches marking us outwardly representing a healthy, biblical mourning that is occurring inwardly. Not meant to leave us in our condemnation but certainly to remember it. It is meant to expose us to us, revealing the depths of our sin, and to lift high the cross of Christ, revealing the saving power of Jesus. Pausing, to sit in silence with the weight of our sin. Lamenting, to confess the sin in our hearts. Singing, to cry out to the One who has paid the price for us. Rejoicing, that we were dead in our sins but have been made alive in Christ. This is the margin we need for today. This is the heart preparation we need as we journey towards Easter.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount blesses those who are poor in spirit and those who mourn over their sin. His promise to them is the kingdom of heaven and comfort. That sounds amazing. The kingdom of heaven and comfort. Soul satisfaction in the person and presence of Jesus. Soul salvation in the sacrifice and work of Jesus. And that truth brings great peace.
May today be a day of reflection over our sin. May it produce a heart of repentance in us.
May today be a day of reflection over our salvation through the costly sacrifice of Jesus. May it produce a heart of praise in us.
The peace of Christ be with you, Fellowship.
Ash Wednesday Prayer
I am so thankful the way you are loving us this Ash Wednesday morning. On a day where we are sitting with the weight of our sin and the beauty of the cross, you have seen fit to give us a visible reminder of your love, grace and provision. Outside snow is falling in a quiet, peaceful, beautiful way, dressing everything in white. Of all days to see this, you are covering our hearts like snow is covering the ground. Your Word invites us to come reason with you. You lovingly point out that while our sins are as scarlet, you will make them white as snow. Though they are a deep, crimson red, you will make them like wool (Isaiah 1:18). Your grace in the face of our rebellious hearts is overwhelming. And like the snow falling, it just keeps coming. Thank you Jesus for this kind of love. Thank you for your provision of the cross. Fill us today with both mourning and rejoicing. Unite our hearts in communion with you. Fill us with your peace and grace us to pass that on to others.
In your sin-cleansing, grace covering name we pray,
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