My granddaughter's face expresses how I feel; but not about her lamb! ... How I feel about the Lamb of God. We had the service that starts the lent season. I love this time of the year. In the book on "Living Simply" she says to celebrate "the story, not the stuff." That is what I love to try to do!
Tonight was so wonderful. I love the focus of this time of the year. " Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins!" This is a time for reflection, and for focusing on Christ's sufferings and on our need to repent. (not that we don't think about this always--but it is an extra focusing). The Ashes are from the powdered ashes of the burnt palms from last year's Palm Sunday.
I like this quote by someone named Guardini (I know nothing about him--but I like the quote)-
".....all this flourishing life, turns to a little ash, a handful of dry dust which every breeze scatters this way and that. All this brilliant color all this sensitive, breathing life, falls into pale, feeble, dead earth, and less than earth, into ashes. It is the same with ourselves. We look into an opened grave and shiver: a few bones, a handful of ash-grey dust.
that dust thou art
and unto dust shalt thou return.
Ashes signify man's overthrow by time. Our own swift passage, ours and not someone else's, ours, mine. When at the beginning of Lent the priest takes the burnt residue of the green branches of the last Palm Sunday and inscribes with it on my forehead the sign of the cross it is to remind me of my death."
I attended 2 different memorial services this weekend. One on Saturday and one on Sunday--so a fresh reminder that we all face death. These 2 services had much joy in the sorrow, because they were both believers. One who had lived long in the Lord and the other who had come to know the Lord through his illness. It helps me to think about my own death, because it makes me think about how I should be living today. How I want to live now. Soon I will be in glory and what glory; how then should I live now? Oh, the need to "lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely , and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:1b-2) amen