I will. I don’t attend worship too regularly, but the season of Lent is important to me, for my relationship with the Holy. But in many churches, folks will stay home today. Groundhog Day probably has more fans than the first official day of Lent. I know some reasons that truckloads of folks don’t break down the doors for an Ash Wednesday service . . .
- Too early! The first Ash Wednesday worshippers have to drive through darkness to get to a church. Dark! Cold! Or it’s mid-day . . . a bad time, gotta be to work. Or in the evening . . . hey, I have dinner plans!
- Ash Wednesday’s a Catholic thang. And I’m Protestant! Get it, I “protest” all those strange rituals and saints and the Pope’s infallibility. Just give me a sermon (though not too long, pretty please) and let me know when the next pot-luck is and I’m a happy camper.
- What’s Ash Wednesday? Never heard of it!
For over a thousand years the Christian church has trod this human-concocted path, this Ash Wednesday to Easter morning 40-day journey. There’s no Biblical mandate to streak ashes on our forehead. Jesus was never quoted as saying, “Get thee to an Ash Wednesday service (which by the way is on a Wednesday) and, verily, verily, I declare . . . make sure you also don’t forget to attend Good Friday worship and definitely play J.S. Bach quite loud on Easter, please!”
Nope, we’ve made it all up to help us remember, to help us reflect on our relationship with God and neighbor. Continue reading →