Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Yeah, I know, it’s Friday. Actually it’s after midnight so it’s Saturday. But I’m always AT LEAST a couple of days behind. It started when my kids were born and I still haven’t caught up.

Anyway, on Wednesday, our church observed its first ever Ash Wednesday service. Having been brought up quite anti-Catholic, I was of course the one to rush right out when I went out on my own and start attending mass every Sunday. That “oppositional defiant” thing they used to say my oldest son had? Yeah. Apple, tree, very little distance. Anyway, I never got past cathechism, because I simply couldn’t reconcile what the Bible said and some of the teachings of cathechism. For myself I could live with the difference, but I knew it wasn’t something I would raise my children to believe, so it wasn’t for me. All the same, I find mass very beautiful, and the prayers comforting, and am deeply drawn to tradition. I think some people end up saying the words by rote and miss just how deeply grounded you must be to recite the Apostles Creed. And midnight mass on Christmas Eve was something I tried to attend regardless of what church was going to at any given time (I’ve tried them ALL, people). I did like it when our church started holding midnight services Christmas Eve, because then I was able to blend a tradition I love with doctrine I find sound and am not the least bit ambiguous about bringing my children up to believe and even pass on to their own children one day. And actually, BRCC had already begun to schedule worship nights around Jewish celebrations even before that.
Anyway, this year BRCC added Ash Wednesday to their list of significant church traditions to explore and experience. I was very excited because it’s something I’ve never participated in before. I do try to give something up for lent every year, and spend the time I would normally spend with that pasttime or activity in prayer. Wednesday night two of our pastors, John Witte and Rey Lopez, shared with us significant themes regarding the season of Lent. I was struck by each, and what started out as a night to do something different than I’d done before and commit to “give up something for lent” became a deeper understanding in my faith. So I did take pictures of the ashes on my forehead because it was special, a first, a thing I want to remember.

John Witte referred to a lot of people’s attitudes about lent being very much like a new year’s resolution, while actually it should be a time to set aside a thing that has been impeding my relationship with God. So the fact that I gave up shopping online… yeah, that was the right choice. If amazon goes out of business between now and Easter, you’ll know why!!!

Good night, and God bless you.

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