Tonight in the sanctuary at 7 pm we will mark Ash Wednesday with the imposition of ashes followed by communion. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the time of year that we observe Jesus’ journey to the cross; culminating in his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the last supper on Maundy Thursday, his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday, and finally, his rising on Easter Sunday.
I will never forget the first year I experienced this series of observances. Since I was not raised in the church, they were all new to me as an adult. Turns out that it wasn’t enough to just read these stories in the Gospels, I needed to experience them in worship in order to fully appreciate the power of the Easter narrative. Ash Wednesday’s reminder of my mortality (“remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”) allowed me a greater understanding of what Jesus was doing, why he was doing it, and the power of the resurrection life that results. There is meaning to our faith that lies beyond words. As a worshiping community all we can do is try to create an environment where that meaning has a chance to emerge and speak of itself.
I hope you will join us tonight. It will be a small, intimate, low tech service (no screens, no livestream). It is my prayer that the service will speak volumes about that which cannot be conveyed in words.