On Wednesday, February 26, we’ll have an Ash Wednesday service to begin the season of Lent together. Lent is a season focused on repentance. Repentance means to turn away from our sinful habits to become more like Jesus by his grace. But why observe a 40-day season if all of the Christian life ought to be marked by genuine repentance? In the same way that we believe Good Friday and Easter are formative days in our calendar even though we can always enjoy the benefits of Jesus’ death and resurrection, Lent can be a formative season of turning away from our sin toward our gracious God.
Ash Wednesday has opened the season of Lent for centuries. But you may wonder what a ritual like the imposition of ashes has to do with repentance. Pastor Timothy LeCroy writes how “scriptures actually talk quite a bit about repentance, grieving, and fasting in connection with ashes. The Bible describes our human condition as consisting of being dust and ashes. In Genesis 3:10, Yahweh tells Adam, ‘For you are dust and to dust you shall return.’ In Genesis 18:27, Abraham picks up on this theme and turns it into a confession, ‘I am but dust and ashes.’ Job, lamenting on his condition and by connection the universal fallenness of the human condition laments, ‘God has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes,’ (Job 30:19).” LeCroy goes on to say “Ash Wednesday and the imposition of ashes is one of those helpful rituals that push against the world, the flesh, and the devil. When the pastor reaches out with his thumb and smears ashes on our forehead in the sign of the cross, he says, ‘You are dust, and to dust you shall return. Repent and believe the gospel.’ We are humbled in that moment. We are exhorted to repentance in that moment. That is a good moment. We need rituals that promote humility, repentance, and faithfulness.” We hope you’ll join us for this meaningful service as we seek to grow in our spiritual health together.
When: 7pm – 8pm on February 26
Where: Revere Hotel, 6th floor
Who: All are welcome (childcare will not be provided)