I led my first ever Ash Wednesday service today. Actually, scratch that. I participated in my first Ash Wednesday service today. My Mennonite Brethren background was decidedly low church and we didn’t really observe Lent or Advent or the Christian year in general. It was Christmas and Easter and that was about it. Everything else was high-church or “liturgical” (as if we weren’t!) or some other negative/unnecessary practice. And even though in recent years many churches in the Anabaptist tradition have moved toward embracing the Christian calendar, I still had never actually attended an Ash Wednesday service.
Two services in the next six days, combined with a quick jaunt to Saskatchewan to see family in between will likely mean a rather light week on this blog. I did, however, want to throw up a quote that I came across a while back that I’ve been thinking about as we head into the season of Lent.
This past Sunday was Transfiguration Sunday where the divinity of Jesus is revealed to a handful of frightened and bewildered disciples on the top of a mountain. During Lent and Holy Week we reflect upon the simultaneously horrific, beautiful, and unexpected manner in which this divinity is expressed. Read more
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, the day when ashes are placed on foreheads, and the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” are proclaimed. For whatever reason, throughout my life, I have rarely needed this reminder. Read more
The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday tomorrow, and over the last week I have been overhearing the customary discussions about who is giving up what for the period of pre-Easter preparation. I have given up things for Lent in the past and have occasionally even found the process to have the effect of sharpening my focus and preparing me for Easter. But more often than not, it has degenerated into somewhat of a duty that, while undertaken with the best of intentions, fizzled out well before Good Friday arrived. Read more
Lent is a time of waiting—something we are all, in various ways and to varying degrees, familiar with. During Lent our waiting is oriented towards Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the high points of the Christian calendar. But “waiting” is a theme that extends far beyond the period of Lent. Read more