FROM THE PASTORS HEART
Ash Wednesday—Preparing for Easter
I feel Ash Wednesday is the most fruitful of all the days of our Christian Calendar. It is not a celebration day or a happy day. But, it’s the Best Day to prepare for Resurrection Day!
First comes Advent—the herald and promise of Christ’s coming; next is Christmas Day followed by the Twelve Days of Christmas ending on January 6, Epiphany—the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi; and now, Ash Wednesday — a day of penitence & contrition, the action of feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong. It is the first day of Lent—the period preceding Easter that is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence as a participation in Christ’s fasting in the wilderness 40 days.
The Calendar serves to teach, remind, and call us to join in as it mirrors the natural unfolding of one’s coming to Christ. To “do repentance” in our mind does “something.” To “do repentance” by confession adds to the “something.” To “do repentance” by responding to an altar, participating in the Ashes and the Oil, and living out our repentance for 40 days, gives us an abundance of the “something.”
So, what is the “something”? A clean conscience, spiritual stamina as our flesh is de-throne, a new identity in and solidarity with the saved? All these, and more besides!
“The Something” is a sweeter fruit still! Here is the choicest part in God’s Garden —
“To do that which He has told you, simply because He asked it of you.”
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” Song of Songs 2:14