So first I need to apologize for missing a couple days this week. I actually got up and wrote a blog post yesterday, but was having computer problems and it disappeared. Bah.
But here we are, Ash Wednesday 2016. I LOVE Lent and Easter. This is my favorite time in the church calendar.
Growing up in a small Lutheran community, especially in Grimes, Iowa where we lived when I was in middle and high school, Lent was a big deal. The youth held free soup suppers every Wednesday where we did all the clean up and serving. Then we had a service that got us ready for the coming holiday.
We spent 6 weeks preparing for Easter–even longer than Advent to Christmas. We poured over the events of Jesus’ life and the week leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. I will never forget one year Pastor Lester Larson (isn’t that the best name?! and he matched his name perfectly–all white hair, a bit of a tummy and loads of smiles) any way Pastor chose 6 people who would have been at the cross and each week told the story from what their perspective might have been. A disciple, an onlooker, a soldier, Mary…it made me stop and think a lot.
This is going to be my anthem this Lent. Give a clean heart God. Fill me with love. Remove the critical and judgemental parts. Fill me with that sense of open-ness that you exude– that includes all people in your love. Help me Jesus to tell your story the way you did–gently, not ranting, not lecturing, but with words that make the others want what I have. Lead me to those around me who need your peace.
What do you think? Want to join me?
I will start tonight at Ash Wednesday service with my family by confessing to God that I am not perfect and cannot do this alone. That He is necessary for my clean heart and renewed spirit. Every day I need Him and that cleansing. And He gives it freely.
Here is the music from the hymnal. I will post a bonus of me singing it on Facebook. 🙂 I still had it memorized, even though I haven’t attended a church that uses it for a decade. I miss that part of the old service. I wish my kids had that heritage.