Post by Pastor Buff
Ash Wednesday is today and many in the context, which I live, will fill cathedrals and churches to usher in the Lent season. Growing up in a Southern Baptist Church this wasn’t a tradition or season that we recognized. Yet, being here in the Northeast, I recognize how big a deal this is.
I just read where one church is offering a drive thru Ash Wednesday service to handle the volume of people they expect to come by to observe this long standing tradition. If you were like me, you have to ask – what is Lent and why haven’t I observed it?
Ash Wednesday is simply the first day of Lent and the official name is the “day of ashes” simply because of the practice of rubbing ashes on ones forehead in the sign of the cross. Today I will see hundreds of people with that symbol as they dedicate themselves to period of spiritual discipline. Many will choose some sinful habit, activity and practice either moderation or self-denial during these forty days leading up to Easter.
Now the Bible never mentions Ash Wednesday or Lent but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be something that we shouldn’t look at or even consider. For instance, I was challenged with this prayer last week at a meeting…
“Lord, I ask that you would not simply heal the symptoms of what is not right in my life, but would you surgically remove all that is in me that does not belong to you.”
– Peter Scazzero
What if the next forty days you and I made this a sincere prayer leading up to Easter? What would our lives look like if this prayer were to be answered? How would the people that we love and live among be different because of this reality becoming true in you and I? Would the change be seen, would it be felt? Would it be a game changer?
Take some time today and read through it as we consider our lives and the opportunity that we have sitting before us. God created us in His Image and His plan is for you and I to reflect Him wherever we are in our daily lives. This is why Easter is so huge.
It is why the Gospel is good news to a world that is drowning in bad news. It is why God sent Jesus to redeem you and I and rescue us so that we could have a ministry of reconciliation to those who have not yet chosen to follow Him.
Why not pray this prayer the next 40 days? What is the worst thing that could happen? You spent 40 days seeking to connect with your creator so that you could completely surrender your whole heart to Him? That the ashes could simply be the scar from the surgery that the Great Physician would preform on you as a result of your willingness to press in for forty days? I’m going for it…how about you?
I surrender Lord – not just some but all.