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Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016
 

 

Today is Ash Wednesday. It's the first day of the holy season of Lent. Today we begin preparing ourselves for a changed life. The preparations include 40 days (not including Sundays) between today and Easter Sunday.

 

You might want to take on a new spiritual practice to bring you closer to God. You might want to give-up or abstain from something that is taking you farther from God.

 

Tonight, we gather in the sanctuary at 7 p.m. for a simple worship service. There will be readings. There will be prayer. We'll burn palms and let go of things that are holding us down, holding us back. There will be fire and smoke. Then we'll take the ashes and smudge them on our foreheads in the sign of the cross - a sign of the intentional journey we are starting tonight.

Ash Wednesday - Chuck Knows Church
Ash Wednesday - Chuck Knows Church

Check out this video about Ash Wednesday and then join me this evening for worship!

Ash Wednesday Reflection
A Reading by David Lose from "The Trouble (and Blessing) of Lent"

Just maybe I need a time (is 40 days really enough?) to help clear my head of the distractions which any involved life in this world will necessarily bring. I need to re-orient myself toward the Maker of all that was given for my pleasure and which I have let become merely distracting.
 
Maybe I need the opportunity (and perhaps deep down I crave the chance!) to clear my eyes of the glaze of indifference and apathy which comes from situation after situation where I feel nearly helpless so that I can fasten my eyes once more on the almost unbearable revelation of the God who loves us enough to hang on a tree.
 
And maybe, just maybe -- and this takes the greatest amount of imagination of them all -- just maybe Lent really isn't mine to do with whatever I please. Perhaps Lent isn't even the Church's season to insist upon or discard at will. Maybe Lent isn't any of ours to scoff at or even observe.
 
Maybe Lent is God's season. Maybe Lent is God's gift to a people starved for meaning, starved for courage, for comfort, for life.
 
If it is, if we can imagine that Lent is not ours at all but is wholly God's, then maybe we'll also begin to recall, at first vaguely but then more strongly, that we, too, are not ours at all, but are wholly God's -- God's own possession and treasure.
Join me tonight for worship at 7 PM
 
Your Partner Along the Way, 
Pastor Jim  

The Rev. Jim Head-Corliss
Lead Pastor
Gig Harbor United Methodist Church