Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wedneday 2013

I am so grateful for a Baptist church that ties together the Christian calendar and places deep meaning between the life of Christ and those that choose to be His followers.

Each year Isaac and I are blessed to be part of the service through music.  My hand bell group and Chamber Singers lead worship.  It's a very classical feel, and I think it brings about a somber attitude appropriate for a solemn occasion.  Although, on a side note, Brahms and I were have an all out war from the grave over one of his pieces.  Praise God, Brahms won, which meant the congregation won.  Otherwise, the poor souls' ears would've rung with pain!

I didn't grow up going to Ash Wednesday services.  In the Methodist church, mention of exchanging ungodly attitudes and habits for more time with the Lord was made, but that was usually the extent of it.  At age 13, when my family moved and ended up joining a Baptist church, it was pretty much the same routine.  A few years ago, UBC began the Ash Wednesday service, and it's been such a treat.  Perhaps 'treat' sounds an odd way to describe a time of mourning and repentance, but but I enjoy the time of corporately coming together to remember Christ's sacrifice, repent, mourn over the grief our sins caused our Father, and leave with a spirit of renewal.  I was mesmerized watching young and old alike receive the mark of the cross in ashes, a symbol of their sin, the death of Christ, and renewal of soul through His resurrection.  What joy!  None of us is perfect.  We all hurt Christ.  We all need to repent, to turn from the daily things that tie us down from being the best Christ has called us to be.  Together, we can overcome.  Together, like tonight, we can repent, find revival within ourselves through the Holy Spirit, and live for Christ.  Yes, we mourn for the pain we cause Christ through our selfishness, but we rejoice in new beginnings and the opportunities that brings!

The ended on a bittersweet night when I learned on the way home from church that a dear, long time friend's mother had passed away in a horrible car wreck this morning.  I had gotten word that a teacher in our district had died before I left school today, but I had no idea it was Jeff's precious mama.  It was a perfect reminder from tonight's service that Christ's sacrifice is to take us Home.  He loves us, and He is good.  Amen.

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