This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, which sounds weird, right?
Ain’t nobody puttin’ ashes on me!
What’s that burnt smell?
Oh hell no, that don’t even look like a cross…
It’s a time for people who believe in Jesus Christ to repent of their sins, acknowledge their mortality, and enter into a season of great expectation for Easter to arrive.
I kept thinking of how to put it in the simplest of terms for someone who has no clue what Ash Wednesday is all about, and this is what I’ve come up with: Ash Wednesday is a day to acknowledge you’re going to die one day so that you can begin to live your life differently.
There are many ways you could do this, but the way that seems to be practiced by those who believe in Jesus Christ starts with confession of sins, moves into practices of prayer and fasting (as a response to acknowledging our sin and to draw closer to God), then culminates in God empowering persons to live a holy life and seize every moment.
With all this in mind, I offer a funny moment that has stuck with me this past week:
After imposing ashes at noon on Wednesday, I met up for a late lunch with some friends, one’s a pastor, one’s a worship leader. (Try Lost 40’s Wednesday brisket if you’re ever anywhere near Little Rock, AR. It’s amazing!)
I asked them: What do you say when you impose ashes? I had just been thinking of this since what I said at noon and what another pastor, Cindy, at our church said differed.
Me: From dust you come, to dust you shall return; God draw near you as you draw near to God this season. Amen.
Cindy: From dust you come, to dust you shall return; repent and believe the gospel. (Traditional saying, by the way.)
Without skipping a beat, my friend who’s the worship leader mind you, pipes in with this jewel, seizing the moment:
TMan: From dust you come, to dust you shall return; Dilly DILLY!
May you, if you so choose to, fully be sorry of how you’ve wronged others and even yourself so that you can fully live a vivacious life following Jesus Christ. Dilly DILLY!