Remember you are ash and to ash you will return. With these words spoken, ash is placed on your foreheads in a cruciform shape, reminding us of our mortality. With these words we also welcome the Lenten season on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is on February 26. Bethesda will hold its traditional Ash Wednesday service at 7:30 pm that evening. It will be a service of Word and Sacrament and the imposition of ash.
Lent is a season filled with opportunities for spiritual renewal. Its mood is contemplative. The forty days of Lent, not counting Sundays, is a time when we enter into a wilderness journey, as Jesus did. Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness was a time for preparation for his ministry. During that time the devil tested him by questioning his identity as the Son of God, enticing him to use the path of glory and power, instead of suffering, humility, and encouraging him to listen to the devil instead of God. Jesus did not succumb to the temptations. During the forty days of Lent we are called to practise spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These, together with worship and meditative reading of the scriptures, can lead us to a path of spiritual renewal.
If you are not satisfied with your spiritual life and are seeking a renewal, Lent offers such an opportunity. Here is your moment. Seize it.