The Start of Lent

March 8, 2019


"Knock, knock."  "Who's there?"  
"Ash."  "Ash who?"  
"Ash Wednesday"  "Wait a second, is today Ash Wednesday?" 
"Yes."  "That means I missed Fat Tuesday?" 
"Yes."  "I gotta get back to church."  
- based on March 6 conversation at Metra Station

This past Wednesday (3/6) was Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. 
Lent is the 40 day season of self-reflection and repentance.  It's a time for spiritual examination and renewal leading up to the celebration of the resurrection on Easter.

As a clergy-person, I have mixed feelings about Ash Wednesday.  As I apply ashes to a person's forehead, I offer very sobering news: 
"Remember that you are dust,
and to dust you shall return."  

Every year, tears inevitably well up in my eyes as I remind friends and strangers alike of our common mortality - that life (as we know it) is temporary.  Death awaits us all.  Just as we come naked into this world, we leave with nothing from this world.  All of our passionate pursuits are vanity, a chasing after the wind.  Our hope is in Christ and Christ alone.

"Remember that you are dust,
and to dust you shall return."

There's no way around it.  There's no kinder, gentler way to say it.  This message is the same for young and old, male and female, Oscar winners and Oscar the Grouch, CEOs of Fortune 500s and organizers of the local carpool.

"Remember that you are dust,
and to dust you shall return."

Now that Ash Wednesday has passed, our Lenten journey has begun.  So, I invite you (in the name of the Church,) to observe a holy Lent.  By self-examination and repentance, by prayer and fasting, by reading and meditating on God's Word, let us humble ourselves before our Creator,  

Sustainer, and Redeemer.

Pastor Caleb  

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