Ash Wednesday 2021
Good morning 5th Ave. Family & Friends,
Another Ash Wednesday. Another Lent. Another six weeks of penance and sacrifices. Another opportunity for spiritual growth and conversion.
Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer.
Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the pastor applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, they speaks the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Alternatively, the pastor may speak the words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief that we have sinned and caused division from God. Therefore, receiving ashes on our heads means nothing, if our heart is not open to being transformed.
After a good honest reflection on our sins and our mortality, we realize our only recourse is God….our only option is God….our only hope is God…..because we can’t get rid of our sins and we can’t prevent ourselves from dying. Only God can do that. The ashes we receive today ought to remind us not only of our sins, but also of God’s goodness to us.
I’ve come to recognize that Lent is a beautiful time of year because it allows us to see the truth of who we are: that we are sinners and that we are forgiven; that we are in the presence of God, and we are also still on our way to Him. Meaning, please be patient with me, “God is not done with me yet.”
This season of Lent, gives us an opportunity as a Church to reflect on how good God has been and is to us sinners; how patient, kind and merciful He is to us; how He longs for us to be with Him, as He says: “Return to me with your whole heart.”
And when we do return to Him with our whole heart, He responds in a way that only God can respond by giving us not just His heart but His whole being: body, blood, soul and divinity. Amen.
To God be the glory,
Rev. Clarissa Martinelli
Pastor, Fifth Avenue UMC
323 South Fifth Avenue
West Bend, WI
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful
beyond measure. I am a child of God.” marianne williamison