Ash Wednesday – 17th February 2021
‘Eat more chocolate!’
Today is Ash Wednesday - the first day of the Season of the Lent, which ends on Saturday 4th April. Traditionally, Lent is a season of fasting and reflection, penitence, and confession to help Christians prepare for Easter and the death and resurrection of Jesus. Some churches mark Ash Wednesday with the ‘imposition of ashes'. The ashes are the burned remains of last year’s Palm Crosses mixed with oil and place on people’s foreheads with a prayer of confession. But personally, I wonder if this year we should mark Lent in a slightly different way?
’The past twelve months have been an awful time. Considering our shared experience, rather than Lent being a time for ‘giving up’ should it not be a time for ‘taking up?’ Embracing those positive things which strengthen and renew our lives. For some people, a traditional Lent may just be exactly what they need. Letting go of the empty baggage of their lives, reflecting on what really matters and through confession and penitence encountering God’s love and renewal. For others, it may be making simple changes to routine that accentuate the positive and give a much-needed boost! Or why do not do both? Why not take up eating chocolate (in moderation) whilst at the very same time give yourself a much-needed spiritual overhaul!
Rev Sean Swindells
Cruden Parish Church
Bible Reading - Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.
you who breathed the spirit of life within me.
Draw out of me the light and life you created.
Help me to find my way back to you.
Help me to use my life to reflect your glory
and to serve others
as your son Jesus did.
May God the Father,
who does not despise the broken spirit,
give to you a contrite heart.
who bore our sins in his body on the tree,
heal you by his wounds.
May the Holy Spirit,
who leads us into all truth,
speak to you words of pardon and peace.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.