Lenten Meditation–Ash Wednesday

End of Carnival
End of Carnival by Carl Spitzweg

I did not grow up observing Ash Wednesday.  Even as a child in a mainline Protestant denomination, I had only a fleeting awareness of the significance of the days leading up to Resurrection Sunday. When my new middle school friend, a Catholic, wore the cross of ashes on her forehead to remind her of her mortality and her need for repentance, it marked me as well:

I will be ashes someday.  That is a given.  There is no drawing of the first breath without knowing there will be a last breath.  That awareness changes everything in between.

Salvation from the ash heap is only through the sacrifice and gracious gift of the Risen Savior.   I cannot save myself.

The party may be over, but there is plenty left to celebrate.    This is only the beginning.

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