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Ash Wednesday Night of Worship
March 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
What is ‘Ash Wednesday’ and where did it come from?
Even though it’s not in the Bible, some of its ideas are…
The observance of Ash Wednesday began in the early Christian Church – somewhere between the sixth and eight centuries. The idea was that a Christian, as a sign of repentance, would sprinkle ashes on his or her head. The reason for this is because in the Bible, ashes were always associated with humility and mortality, fasting, and remorse. Ashes were a reminder that you were mortal, that you will eventually become ashes after you die, and that we need to repent of our sins now while God gives us the opportunity.
During 6th or 7th centuries, Christians in private, at times, would sprinkle ashes on themselves as a symbol of repentance. Eventually, this became a public practice. Instead of sprinkling the ashes on your head, the ashes would be rubbed onto the forehead in the shape of a cross. In many churches the ashes that were used were taken from the palm branches from Palm Sunday, that had been burned the year before. Some churches today have retained this practice, while others have let the practice go. What’s really important, though, is not whether you have ashes on your forehead. What’s important is what’s going on in your heart, what’s going on in your soul.
For every Christian, ashes or not, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the reflective season of Lent. Lent is a 40-day span of time from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. During this time we are reminded of Jesus’ 40-day fasting in the desert and enduring temptation by Satan.
Some Christians are uncomfortable with the observance of Ash Wednesday because the day is not mentioned in Scripture, yet those same Christians have no problem with the observance of Christmas, which also is not mentioned anywhere in Scripture. It seems strange that we would be comfortable in having our churches decorated, at times for over a month (from Thanksgiving through Christmas) to commemorate something that the Bible nowhere tells us to remember (the birth of our Lord), and yet we’re willing to give just one week (Holy Week, from Palm Sunday through Easter) to commemorate something that the Bible tells us never to forget (the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord).
Whether you choose to observe all of Lent, or just a part of it, we invite you to join us for our Ash Wednesday Night of Worship. This will be an experiential service of worship through Music, the Word and the Arts.We hope you will join us as we kickoff the 40-Day Challenge leading up to our Easter Celebration Services!