Archive for February 22nd, 2012

Ashes, Ashes

It’s Ash Wednesday. I had forgotten about other Ash Wednesday writings until I went back and starting reading them. You can find them here:  2009 2010

It’s here. It’s here whether we are ready or not for it. I hope even if you have never considered participating in Lent before that you might try it this year. Honestly, the journey of Lent (and advent for that matter) have become such an important part of my life and faith. For me, it’s about intentionality, stillness, reflection, and prayer. I always end up at a different place than where I began. I think that’s kind of the point.

Lent is not about beating yourself up or piling on the already high feelings of guilt until it’s overwhelming. It’s about seeking and discovering God. It’s about remembering Christ’s journey here on Earth and trying to line up our life work with the things he found to be important. Our church is reading through a Lenten devotional of writings by Henri Nouwen called “Renewed for Life”. I love the first paragraph in the reading from today,

“Our temptation in Lent is to be so impressed by our sins and failings and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in a paralyzing guilt, a guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God. It is guilt that becomes an idol or form of pride. But Lent is precisely the time to break down this idol and direct our attention to our loving Lord.”

You are dust, and to dust you will return. God, may I direct my attention to you this day and all of my days.


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