Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday

40 Days of Reflection - Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday. As a child growing up, we could join with the local Catholic Church to participate in the placement of ashes on our forehead to begin Lent. This was by choice and then we had the option to give something up for those 40 days. I didn't really understand or appreciate this until my mid twenties or early thirties. I have always been protestant and we just didn't put too much emphasis on the "liturgical" or "ritual" practices. About 7 years ago, I came to Grace church and over the last 6 years, some traditional things have been observed and .... I am so thankful!!
Two years ago we did an Ash Wednesday service with our Student Ministries and it was beautiful. I believe it was meaningful to all involved and it was probably the first time some had ever participated. Last year we had one with our Grace Kids and it made an impact on those kids. We encouraged them to "fast" from something or do something positive to show kindness throughout Lent. Due to snow and ice causing our area to be "shut in" tonight, we've postponed our "Ash Wednesday" (well at least the service) until next week. 
As for me, I've given up things that occupy my time like Bejeweled and Yatzee. I hope to use that time for reflection.  I've also chosen 2 different readings for Lent and to do 40 days of reflection on how God has blessed me, despite circumstance and sometimes despite my stubborn sin nature. I've also decided to spend more time in prayer and to make my acts of kindness not so random. Today, as I reflect, I refer back to "timehop". I know that sounds strange, but as I looked back at this day in "my history", I was reminded of how truly blessed I am. From year to year, we sometimes forget what God has done. I am thankful for the small reminders and the big ones too! Whether you participate in a Lenten practice or to whatever extent you do, I pray God's blessing as you reflect, possibly repent and allow God to restore!

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