Going deeper into the mysteries of the love of God
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of preparation leading to the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ at Easter. These days give us an opportunity to focus on our faith: to consciously seek to place ourselves in God’s nearer presence and ask the gift of going deeper into the mysteries of the love of God for each of us.
On Ash Wednesday we’re invited to receive on our foreheads in ash the sign of the cross, which we were first given in oil at our baptism, at the beginning of our lives as friends of Jesus. The words used at the ashing remind us both of our sin, as an integral part of being human, and also our mortality – the truth that we will die. This awareness, leading hopefully to self-acceptance, is neither limiting nor morbid. Indeed, a right sense of who we are, what we’re like and what will certainly happen to us one day can be a freeing experience.
The words go like this: ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.’
I wish you a fruitful and rewarding Lent as we journey together, praying for one another. Do come to either of our Ash Wednesday services on 14 February (all you need is love!). Both include ashing: 11 am at St Matthew’s and 7.30 pm at St Paul’s.
Details of Lent groups are here.