Ashes and Onward

Today is Ash Wednesday. For some of you that means a lot, and for some of you that means very little. Regardless, I want to invite you to a season of spiritual growth as we begin Lent.

Lent, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, is a season in the church’s liturgical calendar. Preceding Easter, which is April 9 this year, Lent has long been a time of reflection as Christians ready themselves for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Many of the ancient Christian churches saw this as a time of preparation for adult converts seeking to be baptized in the faith.

Ash Wednesday services typically launch Lent by focusing on a renewed connection to God through confession, repentance and that word some find icky, discipline. For those of you who have read Methodist Life regularly, this should already make sense, as confession and repentance have been embedded in disciplined prayer patterns we covered in September of last year and during the season of Advent.

I first want to encourage you to continue or resume the pattern of praying three times a day. You can review the suggested parts of such a pattern by going back to the “Expect Christ” series from Advent.

Second, I hope you will seriously consider finding an Ash Wednesday service at a church near you to begin the season of Lent. If you’re near the church I serve, Holston View Methodist in Weber City, Va., feel free to join us at 7 p.m. this evening. If you’ve never been to such a service before, don’t let the mystery of it all, or the ashes, scare you. Ash Wednesday services are usually quite simple, and the optional “black cross on the forehead” merely is an outward sign of repentance.

I also am going to be writing about Lent on a weekly basis here on Methodist Life, publishing on Wednesdays. As I write these weekly articles, I also hope some of us can develop a more personal connection throughout the season. If any of you would like to form an online discussion group during Lent, just email me at

Such a group would make use of Christian videos found on RightNow Media. In fact, the kind folks at RightNow Media have said I can extend my church’s subscription to any of you viewing Methodist Life. Simply click here to gain free access. (If you have trouble getting access, let me know.)

I pray we can all be blessed by this season and develop some new relationships in the process.

One thought on “Ashes and Onward

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s