Ash Wednesday this year will be different.
We all have that thought locked somewhere in our hearts and minds. But even if it cannot be the Ash Wednesday of former years, I have hope it can still be a special day. I have this hope because I believe God will be present with us on this day as God is every year. I may not be placing ashes on anyone’s forehead this year, but I can provide ashes, ashes blessed using those words provided in the Book of Common Prayer. Those who come in person to a service (to read or participate in one way or another) can administer the ashes themselves. They can also give to, or receive from, a family member.
But Ash Wednesday is more than the day to impose ashes. It is a day for us to remember the ways we have fallen short, when we have done what is wrong and said hurtful things and not loved our neighbors as we love ourselves. It is in fact a day to acknowledge our sins. And the hope is that God will hear us and forgive us. We ask God who understands us and knows all our sins, to hear our pleas for his (or her!) forgiveness. We believe God will forgive; that is the hope for this day and the hope that will carry us through the season of Lent.
I pray you will all have a blessed Ash Wednesday.