Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, a period of reflection, sacrifice, returning and prayer.
A traditional call to Lent includes these words:
* I invite you, therefore . . . to observe a holy Lent:
by self–examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting, and self–denial;
and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.
To make a right beginning of repentance,
and as a mark of our mortal nature,
let us now kneel (bow) before our Creator and Redeemer.
Ash Wednesday’s call is one to right relationship with God and with each other. God yearns for each of us, to experience the fullness of God’s love and grace.
“Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord your God,
for the Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love.” Joel 2:12-13
At times, a single word will speak to our hearts, giving us direction and something to ponder about ourselves, our relationship to God and others. I hope that this brief video will speak to you, as it has to me. May this Lenten season give you space to pause, reflect and draw closer to your Lord.
*Discipleship Ministries, United Methodist Church