Thursday, February 26, 2004

Since yesterday was Ash Wednesday, last night was our Ash Wednesday service. Yeah, I know, common wisdom on the street would have an Ash Wednesday service in the morning, like the Catholic church has always done (so the ashes on the forehead will serve as a reminder throughout the day and will also serve as a conversation starter (even if the conversation starts with some idiot asking, "Dude, why is your head dirty?")

Anyway, one thing I love about an Ash Wednesday service is that the people who come always come on purpose. No, I don't mean that generally people stumble into a church building, saying, "Uh, where am I?" but I mean that they come with a purpose, and for Ash Wednesday, the purpose is the same across the board. People come with an expectation that they will meet with God. People come with an expectation that they will be forced to face their own mortality. People come expecting to confront their sin. They weren't disappointed last night. From the (long) prayer we all read in unison (Psalm 51:1-15) to the wait for the imposition of ashes, there was a lot of time to be alone with God.

My prayer and my wish for the service is that we would all come away from it with our hearts broken by our sin. By individual sin and by corporate sin. That we actually will turn from our sins and that God will heal us with his forgiveness. A neat thing is that I actually believe this. And I believe that those who were in attendance last night also believe it...

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