40 Days of Lent and Passion: Starts today!

Why Celebrate Ash Wednesday?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Christian tradition of Lent. During these 40 days leading up to Easter (April 20), followers of Christ prepare their hearts by turning their minds away from the physical to the spiritual. 

Ash Wednesday is a time for repentance. Ashes were used in ancient times, according to the Bible, to express penitence. Dusting themselves with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for the sins and faults. An ancient example is found in job 42:3-5. Job says to God: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

The ashes used are made by burning psalm branches, which have been saved from the previous year’s Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday was when the people rejoiced at Jesus’ triumphal entrance to Jerusalem. They celebrated his arrival by waving palm branches, little realizing he was coming to side for their sins. By using palms from Palm Sunday, it is a reminder that we must not only rejoice at Jesus’ coming, but also regret the fact that our sins made it necessary for him to die for us in order to save us from His wrath.

Join me this evening for a time of reflection and communion in preparation for Easter – 6:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall.

AuthorDon Cowan