Ash Wednesday is upon us, and the challenge of Lent awaits. It is the beginning of the solemn season. A time to reflect. A time to make the extra effort. Some of the parish activities such as Friday soup lunches, which were always such a success, have returned, but naturally, there are still fears of public gatherings and this is understandable. But perhaps we need to make a determined effort to overcome these reservations. There hasn’t been any real demand for the Warm Space on Wednesday afternoons. This may be a good sign that the need isn’t what we anticipated. However, it has become a worthwhile effort, if only for the opportunity it affords the parish volunteers to gather and chat. The success of Sunday’s teas and coffees at both churches are clearly marvellous signs that we are slowly overcoming some fears.
Marked by Ashes A Poem by Walter Brueggemann
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day ...
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home, halfway back to committees and memos, halfway back to calls and appointments, halfway on to next Sunday, halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant, half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday, but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes — we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth: of failed hope and broken promises, of forgotten children and frightened women, we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust; we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you — you Easter parade of newness. Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us, Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom; Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth. Come here and Easter our Wednesday with mercy and justice and peace and generosity. We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.