It is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation. Just as Jesus took forty days to do that in the dessert, Lent gives us those days to spend before Easter Resurrection Sunday preparing our hearts, minds, and souls.
After researching it, I found what I already knew to be true. There is no mention of Ash Wednesday or Lent in the Bible. We are not commanded to observe either. However, we are to observe communion. Taking bread and wine/juice in remembrance of Christ’s body and blood that was beaten and shed for our salvation.
What love He had to do that! Unfathomable, uneverlasting, pure love. Mind-blowing love. I can read about it and see movies, but I am certain it was much worse that I can ever imagine. What about you?
Thinking about Ash Wednesday brings me full circle to creation. Reading the account again in Genesis, I am awed at God’s power to mold and shape man in His own image and then breathe life into him. Do you feel that way, too? Think about it. We are made from dirt, but after Almighty God fills us with His breath then we come alive! Miraculous.
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7 Genesis 3:19 says “for dust you are and to dust you shall return” reminding us that this body is temporary.
Even though we do not read about Ash Wednesday or Lent, the Bible does mention ashes and dust in several times. Ashes and dust represent human frailty, suffering, sorrow, and mourning.
The ashes used in Ash Wednesday services are normally from the previous year’s Palm Sunday’s services. Taking the palms of joy welcoming King Jesus and turning them into ashes because of what was done to Him for us is one reason this is done.
Do you use Lent to prepare for Resurrection Sunday? Are you fasting to remind you to pray and grow closer to Jesus? Some churches participate while others don’t. Same with people. It is a personal choice. Personally, I think it is good to stay close to Jesus every single day.