Another Ash Wednesday

I am not really sure why I am fascinated with Ash Wednesday.  I did not grow up in a faith tradition where we celebrated this important day in the life of the church.  I was introduced more fully to the meaning of this day when I began attending a img_0098United Methodist Church.

Every year, my thoughts are captivated by this day in the church’s life.  There are so many important symbols – our kneeling at the rail to receive the ashes, the prayers of repentance, the practices of Lent (either taking on or giving up something), and t
he consideration of our own mortality.  For me, it is the burning of the palm leaves from Palm Sunday of the year before which provokes my spirit.  There is just something so incredibly rhythmic about this cycle.  “Sunday’s Palms Are Wednesday’s Ashes” as the hymn title goes.

This year there have burn bans in Oklahoma.  And with the Oklahoma winds, we have to pick a day when there is little or no wind.  That in itself img_0099requires some planning.  This morning I burned those palm leaves out of the driveway of the United Methodist parsonage in Wellston.  In full view of the passersby on the highway.  With lots of smoke and flame and cars slowing down trying to figure out what I was doing – a grown man setting fire to something in an old baby bathtub, right in front of the house.

After all the leaves are burned and I move the old tub, there are always a few palm leaves which seem to escape the burning.  Maybe they are not quite ready to take their img_0101place in the greater scheme of things spiritual.

I know some folks like that.  Folks who cannot quite grasp the ultimate significance of the lives they are living on this earth.  Folks who are not aware of the depths to which the witness of their lives affects others.  Not quite ready to take their place in the greater scheme of things spiritual.  Folks like me.  Folks like you.

May this Ash Wednesday and this Lenten season move us closer to God.  May it move us closer to each other.

~ by revpaulcalkin on February 27, 2017.

2 Responses to “Another Ash Wednesday”

  1. Awesome…well said.

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