Today, Christians around the world receive the mark of ashes as a sign of repentance and a reminder of our humanity. That our lives are finite. That all of us will die.
Ash Wednesday is the threshold into Lent. We remember that death will come, but that is just the beginning…
Lent is a season where we give up something to make more space for prayer and reflection.
Some people give up chocolate or coffee or sugar. Some people give up social media. And that’s all fine. But, the purpose of this fasting can get lost in translation.
The invitation to fast is not to prove you can go without. It’s not even really about the pain of sacrificing a luxury, but it is about making more space. It is about seeing more clearly. Listening more closely. Seeking after God more whole-heartedly.
Lent is an invitation to the wilderness so that you can experience God and grow in faith.
This wilderness time is not a form of punishment, but rather a time of focused discipline that is meant to make more space for God.
And so the invitation of today, of Ash Wednesday and of the Lenten season is to willingly enter into a wilderness time.
How will you make more space for God in these days?
May we not fear death but hold this as perspective.
Remembering our humanity, from dust to dust;
May we hold on to hope,
forged and hard won through the wilderness
May we find our identity and purpose in the One who has created and called us,
trusting the process of growth and the hope of transformation.
May it be so.