Further Up, Further In Weblog

Chronicling the Journey of the Homeyers

Ash Wednesday February 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 11:49 am

I wrote this following post in an email to Fellowship this morning.  We do not yet celebrate the fullness of the Lenten Season at Fellowship, but I feel it is extremely important to expose those involved in our family to the riches that this season offers. 
Being a new father has brought new meaning to Ash Wednesday as I have contemplate the words of this morning, “Remember, O Man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 
This morning the mancub in my arms who so recently, freshly, and creatively was created, “from dust,” and has an entire lifetime (God may it be so!) of discipleship and adventure before him.  Next week I will perform a funeral for a lady who soon will literally return to dust.  Yesterday I learned of a beautiful young lady in our community who has just been found to have a brain tumor.  Last week a teenager and his family visited our church and just found out he has a thyroid tumor and they have to wait a month for results.  And yet, I have spent much more time fielding calls, emails, and conversations about the selection of a college president. 
Someone was killed on the HWY 281 bridge this morning in Marble Falls, it happened right around 7:30…within minutes of the utterance of thousands upon thousands of believers all across our time zone being blessed with the phrase, “Remember, O Man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”  Often is added to this phrase, “But the steadfast Love of the Lord endures forever.”  Often is added to this, “Repent, Believe in the Gospel!” 
This morning I would add these lyrics that have been on my heart:
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
With these thoughts on my heart and mind I enter this season of preparation for the remembrance of Christ’s death and the celebration of His resurrection.   See the email below.  If you want a good devotional to walk with through this season skip to the bottom and free yourself from my rambling! 
Good Morning Fellowship,
Today is Ash Wednesday.  In most church traditions this is a day that begins the season of Lent, a 6 week journey from today until Easter.  Lent is a season of preparation of the follower of Christ – through prayer, penitence, giving of self, and self-denial, for the celebration of Easter. 
Often people observe acts of self-denial as a means of orienting their life toward the ways of Christ.  For instance, many decide not to eat certain foods or drink certain drinks they normally enjoy for these few weeks.  Then, everytime they think about eating or drinking this they have given up, they pray to be conformed into Christ’s image.  Others give up chocolate, or TV, or facebook, or golf, or any of a myriad of things and use the time, energy, and resources normally spent on such luxuries for the serving Christ’s Kingdom and growing in relationship with Christ. 
It is a wonderful practice. 
Ash Wednesday begins this season of Lent.  Traditionally, followers of Christ attend an Ash Wednesday Service where repentance is the theme, and as believers repent and confess to their Lord, a pastor or clergyman places the sign of the cross on the forehead of the believer.  The ashes generally come from the burned palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service. 
The purpose of Ash Wednesday, though, is for repentance.  To repent of the ways we are running from, avoiding, and acting against Our Lord and Savior and to commit to walk with Him. 
It is a wonderful practice. 
Although we at Fellowship do not currently, actively, participate in the full Lenten Season, I ask that you pray about committing to prepare your heart over the next Six weeks as we approach Easter and the remembrance of Christ’s death and the celebration of His resurrection. 
Perhaps you will be led to participate in some act of self-denial that will help you focus on Christ’s working in your life.  Perhaps your celebration of Easter will be deepend as will your service to God’s Kingdom and your relationship with Christ. 
In the Ash Wednesday Service the officiant utters the phrase to each person to comes down the aisle to be blessed with the sign of the cross, “Remember, O Man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.  Repent, and believe in the Gospel!”
If you would like a good devotional to aid you in walking through this season of the year, go to this site:

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