As I looked at the calendar and realized Ash Wednesday was approaching a certain sadness came over me. New Life, the church where we attended an Ash Wednesday service last year, no longer exists. And I don’t know of any other churches holding service. But that is okay. On Sunday, Pastor Tim, at the new church we are attending, spoke on this very thing. No, not about Ash Wednesday, but on doing without. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, God has been speaking with me about doing away with things. Gaining self-control over my desires, like chocolate and Pepsi as well as several other things. It’s not so much about doing without as it is self-discipline. Whenever I had a craving for a Reese’s my reaction was immediate, there was no denying, and if for some reason I couldn’t sink my teeth into that chocolate covered peanut butter, I’d become grumpy.
I had no discipline whatsoever. So, on Sunday, knowing my tendency to be wishy-washy when it comes to good intentions. I made a choice to do without for two reasons. One, to practice self-discipline. Two, for my health.
So, I guess in a way, even though I don’t get to attend service, I will be participating in Lent.
I’ve never been one to celebrate ‘traditional’ holidays that date back to the 900s. And I’ve never been one to observe Catholic rituals. After all, much to my poor mother-in-law’s chagrin, I’m not Catholic.
Of course, the Catholic Churches aren’t the only ones dusting their foreheads in ash on this good Wednesday. Many other denominations will be participating in this ritualistic act of repentance.
Truly I am no scholar and I have not a single hour of theology beneath my belt, and to be honest, I may have heard of Ash Wednesday, but only in passing. This time last year was the first I had actually participated, and for the life of me I can’t remember the events of the evening.
My first question whenever I come across a religious ritual is to see if it has any Biblical basis.
Job said in reply to the Lord: I know that You…
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