Ash Wednesday Service
February 14, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.

Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent, those 40 days that precede Holy Week. In our scriptures the number 40 is significant! It represents a period of time in which God prepares to bring something new to His people. For 40 days and nights it rained on the earth, when the Lord washed the world clean, making it new for Noah and his family. For 40 years Israel spent time in the wilderness as God prepared them to receive a new land, the Promised Land. After his baptims our Lord Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, where God prepared him for a power-filled ministry, and to be the Way for us to follow. For us the Season of Lent is an invitation to 40 days of preparation, a journey with Christ to His cross, walking the straight path with Him, the Way to the new Life of His Resurrection. We make this walk through deeper disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

The significance of ashes, on Ash Wednesday, also comes from the scriptures. Ashes are the traditional sign of sorrow and repentance, as well as a sign of our mortality...from dust we were made, and to dust we shall return. Receiving the ashes upon the forehead, in the sign of the cross, reminds us of our mortality, and the need for repentance leading to new life. They also remind us that God's love is triumphant over sin and death, and that God remains "in communion" with us, that in Christ, our mortality is overcome.