February 14 is Ash Wednesday which marks the 40-day period leading up to Holy Week and Easter. Lent is a season of prayer, fasting and repentance. We mark the beginning of this season by placing a cross of ashes on our forehead (or the back of the hand) on Ash Wednesday. “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:6 NIV
Being honest, it felt a little weird growing up and having ashes scraped across my forehead, not fully understanding its meaning or purpose. As I got older I remember studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and hearing His words: “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.” Matthew 6:16 NIV
Don’t disfigure your face. These words stuck in my mind while walking to the altar rail. Why are we disfiguring our faces when Jesus told us not to? Am I trying to be pious by this action, making it important that others see what I am doing?
(Newsletter article from Pastor Jon continues in our monthly newsletter)