Not About Me: Day One (A Journey Through Lent)

379246_10151246708651787_459997397_nI received ashes about an hour ago. My partner was on her way to Boston to assist in Old South Church’s Ash Wednesday observances, but she ashed me first. Later today she will be joining other clergy and seminarians as she stands in front of the church and offers ashes to the busy pedestrians on Boylston Street. And now I’m sitting here in the office of my small town church in Vermont, ashes on my forehead, waiting to see if any parishioners who can’t make our evening service will drop by for ashes.

Our contexts today are very different, but our hopes are the same. Maybe the people we touch with ash will stop for a minute, reflect on the day, and feel the tug on their hearts from God that comes every Lent, beckoning them back to the divine relationship.

We impose the ashes on one another with the the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” And Lent is all about returning. Not just back to dust, but to what makes something extraordinary out of that dust. Lent is all about returning to the creator, and returning towards the way that God’s son showed us. A way of love. A way of reconciliation. A way of hope. A better way.

Today I’m starting my Lenten discipline in the form of a challenge to myself (you can read about it here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/its-not-about-me-a-lenten-challenge_b_2659425.html ). I’m hoping that in Lent my thoughts and my actions will help return my attention to God, and to God’s people, again and again. I invite you to join me, in whatever way works for you. Even if you have been away from church, or away from faith, for sometime, it’s not too late.

God will always welcome your return. So, why not today?

One thought on “Not About Me: Day One (A Journey Through Lent)

  1. True. It is never too late to return. I think of my great-grandfather, who I never knew, who asked to be baptized on his deathbed. He went to church with my grandmother whenever invited along. When asked why he didn’t ask for baptism earlier, he replied it was because no one ever asked him if he wanted to. I am taking up your challenge for Lent, and adding another on. Every day I will find something that feeds me spiritually. I am Catholic, and all too often I allow my frustration with the church to get in the way of my relationship with God. This Lent, I will connect more with the human community and also with the Divine. Thank you for your invitation to take up this challenge. I look forward to the journey.

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