Series: Rend Your Hearts: Claiming the Promise
Ash Wednesday 2021
February 17, 2021 | Rev. Will White
Passage: Isaiah 55:1-9
Ash Wednesday, February 17 at 7:00 pm
Dear Pender Friends,
I want to encourage you to participate in our “Ash Wednesday” livestream this Wednesday, February 17, at 7pm.
As always, we will be on YouTube, Facebook, and the church’s website and we’ll be returning to a presentation style that is more familiar to you. You might be asking, “Why do we need Lent this year?” With the pandemic, we’ve been through the “Lentiest Lent that has ever Lented”. As for self-reflection, “Just what do you think we were doing during the months we were on lock-down?”
But, maybe this year, more than ever, we need to focus on Jesus. We need to focus on the cross and the hope it brings. In the Lenten box delivered to your home, get your charcoal out and be ready at 7pm on Wednesday! I’ll provide instructions as to how to apply “the sign of the cross” during the livestream.
Grace and Peace,
p.s. Children love symbols, so please include them. There will be a special “Time with Children” for them.
The Message was “Yet Even Now”
There is something powerful about a season that starts in the middle of the week, at night (or in the morning, if that is your tradition). It suggests that the Lenten journey is a high calling, not for the faint of heart, not for the casual observer. It requires a level of commitment from the beginning. Issue the call to worship as a reach, a stretch, not as a barrier to access, but as a reminder of the strenuousness of the journey ahead.
Worship Service, Time with Children, Sermon, Use of Ashes
(In your Lenten bag, there is some charcoal, please have it on hand when the service begins. Please enjoy the soup supper before or after worship as a reminder to live simply during Lent.)
Adults, please listen for the answers to the following…
- What is the significance of the ashes?
- What kind of ashes do we use “normally”?
- What does it mean to repent?
- Why is that important?
- Think about what YOU can do to participate in Lenten discipline this year.
Help children experience Ash Wednesday…
- First, include them! Kid’s love symbols. They get it!
- Then say, “What does it mean to make the cross your ‘brand’ for life”?
- Tell them, “From tonight until Easter Sunday (April 4th), we want to be the best followers of Jesus we can be.”<
- Ask them, “What should we do?”
- Then ask, “What should we not do?”
- Tell them that the sign of the ashes means, “You belong to Jesus.” Encourage them to wear the sign of the cross (charcoal) on their foreheads for the rest of the night.
Lent doesn’t have to be a somber time; but to be effective, it needs to be intense. It needs to be taken seriously and rigorously, and we can bring our full selves to the table. It is worth the strenuous effort, however, as we are enabled to embrace the fullness of the promise of Resurrection and live as disciples of Jesus Christ; disciples who make disciples. So, despite feeling as though we have been in a yearlong season of Lent, we need the season; we need the observance to open us to all God has in store for us. Rend your hearts, so together we can claim the promise.