Mar 5, 2014

Taking Ash Wednesday seriously...

So this day kind of came up out of nowhere again... but I wanted to give this a fair amount of thought & prayer before attending our Ash Wednesday service tonight.

I'm not Catholic, but I attend a Lutheran church... so this IS something we (apparently) recognize. Is this something all Christians must recognize? Not necessarily, but I'm all about symbolic stuff so you can count me in! 

I believe the "Ash" reference comes from the repentance & mourning in sackcloth and ashes by those living back in bible times... since the word 'lent' isn't actually referred to in the bible (that I know of). 

The pastor will wipe ashes onto our foreheads in the shape of a cross to symbolize our repentance/mourning of past sins. 

True repentance means we confess (admit) to God our wrongdoing and then commit to change that behavior, with His help... it's a good reminder of how much we need Him.

Tonight we will all be asked to pray about something we are going to fast or abstain from for the next 40 days (or until Easter morning). It should probably be something you'd actually miss... or else it wouldn't be much of a sacrifice ;)

Personally, fasting reminds me of how much I need what Christ did for me on the cross. I could abstain from something I enjoy eating, like chocolate, or an activity I'm a bit addicted to, like checking my Facebook account. If have a 'whoops' moment and forget or cave... I don't feel condemned... I'm just further reminded that I can't earn my salvation. It is only by God's grace.

I think fasting means different things to some people, especially during Lent... but to me it will remind me to be in prayer over someone or something specific and to pray hard for that whenever I'm craving what I gave up... in order to fix my perspective onto Godly things that truly matter instead of on the desires of my flesh (aka stomach or entertainment wants).

I KNOW what I will be in prayer for, but am still a bit nervous about what to fast from (ha)... but like I said, fastinh shouldn't necessarily be 'easy' to do :) 

God bless you during this season. I'm hoping to eventually invest in one of these wooden 'journey to the cross' wreaths from Ann Voskamp's son and download her free devotional to go through with my family. You can even print ornaments for a lent tree, which I'm guessing would be great for visual learners (aka kids)!



Subscribe to Ann's blog and download a free Lent devotional from the bottom of your next email!
Visit www.joywares.com to keep tabs on when more Lent wreaths will become available :)

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