Why I Got Ashed
As some of you know, I was born into a Catholic family. And while I was too young to participate in most of the traditions of this faith, I remember them feeling ritualistic and obligatory.
Since becoming a Protestant Christian and in the last few years, I have thrown away anything to do with my Catholic past. But recently, I have felt the Lord ask me to reacquaint myself with a few of these traditions. Particularly the observance of Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season that follows.
I’m going to share about what I am doing… not to sway you… but to simply invite you along in this journey with me.
I’ve since learned that it isn’t just something only Catholics do. Many Protestant denominations observe Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season, not out of obligation, but out of an understanding of its significance. But many more have no idea what it is or why it would be observed.
Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance and it marks the beginning of Lent. Ashes were used, according to the Bible, to express mourning. Dusting oneself with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults. An example can be found in Job 42:3-6.
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”
So, this morning I participated in an ashing ceremony with a pastor in the area. I don’t need a pastor to tell me that my sins and faults are forgiven… I square that away with Jesus regularly. In fact, I could have grabbed some ashes from the fireplace this morning and wiped them on my face.
But like baptism, the ashing is a public sign that I acknowledge my mortality and need for a Savior.
From here, I will observe 40 days of fasting. Otherwise known as Lent.
“Lent is about exercising the control that enables us to say no to ourselves so that when life turns hard of its own accord we have the stamina to yes to its twists and turns with faith and hope.” The Rule of Benedict
With everything taking place with Dirty Girls Ministries this year (God is blowing me away, y’all), I really felt this was an appropriate season for it. And slow down, into a posture of full and utter dependence of Him.
Like many, I am fasting from social media. But am pinpointing it to Facebook. Not that I think Facebook is a bad thing. I LOVE FACEBOOK. But it has become a huge distraction. I can waste hours upon hours playing Bejeweled Blitz, browsing photo albums and who knows what. Funnily, I think leaving Bejeweled may be the hardest part.
That’s my shpeal.
The Lord knows my heart and He also knows yours. So, whether you observe these traditions today and over the next 6 weeks, I am praying that the Lord would bless you for your obedience to Him… in whatever He is calling you to do.