Commemorating Ash Wednesday

Wednesday the 2nd of March 2022 marks Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of Lent leading up to Easter. Traditionally Ash Wednesday is marked by marking a cross on your forehead with ash which is followed by a time of fasting and penance. Now you may wonder why am I taking this random “catholic” holiday and telling you about it? It is because Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the most important season in the Christian Calendar, Easter.

The cross of Christ, and the events that took place on Golgotha mark the heart of what we call Christianity. On the cross, God’s mercy and justice meet as we are reconciled once and for all to God through Christ. On the cross…

 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

In the 40 days leading up to Easter (what is traditionally called lent) Christians use this tradition of Ash Wednesday and Lent to focus their hearts and minds on this central truth. There are number of ways that they do this namely: fasting, prayer, a deeper reflection on scripture that is marked by confession and repentance. These are all good things as they help us to focus our eyes on Christ who did it all for us.

As the season of Easter officially begins, won’t you take the time to meditate on the cross and what Christ achieved for us there. Why don’t you start a bible reading plan that focuses on one of the gospels. Take one day a week, leading up to Easter and remove the daily distractions and just pray to God and pray for others. Pair up with another Christian and together reflect on the cross through prayer and bible reading.

This is a Christian tradition that is not mandated by scripture, so we are free to obey it or ignore it.  As we have been reminded in the book of Galatians the observance of lent does not bring you any closer to God, only the blood of Jesus does that for us.  Traditions however can be helpful in highlighting for us important truths and getting us into a pattern of reflecting on them. So, use this as far as it is useful to you.

As we begin the Easter season my prayer for you is that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ may transform you more so that you reflect Christ more in your life.