IMG_6145We had a fire in the church kitchen last week. No smoke alarms went off. No fire trucks or fire extinguishers were involved. But there was an emergency involving flames.

Actually the flames solved the emergency.  We needed more ashes for Ash Wednesday. So Lee and the 7th grade Confirmation students came to the rescue.

Did you know the ashes for Ash Wednesday come from burning last year’s palm branches?  Add a little oil and the ashes are ready to go. Ask Carly about the ratio of ash to oil.

Today, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent. For forty days we focus on Jesus and his journey to the cross.  Christians around the world gather to hear the words, “Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.” The messiness of ashes and the reminder of our mortality help us accept our humanity.

You see we all mess up. All humans hurt others. On Ash Wednesday we receive the sign of the cross as a reminder that nothing separates us from God.IMG_2997

* Not our mistakes. Jesus journey to the cross is all about forgiveness.  So the cross on our forehead ensures us of God’s love and forgiveness.

* And not even our death. Jesus’ death on the cross is not an end but a beginning of a new life. Through Jesus we share in that new life.

So today, wear your cross of ash boldly as you leave church. That cross points to God and shares God’s love and forgiveness with the world. And when you hear the news about war in Ukraine, shootings in Chapel Hill, ISIS atrocities, and hate-filled Christians, remember Jesus journey to the cross is for ALL.  God’s love has the last word.

Some ideas for your Lenten journey:



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