Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the season of Lent. Depending on the tradition you grew up in, Lent may have been a yearly fixture or it might be a bit unfamiliar to you. Lent is the time leading up to Easter when many Christians choose to fast from certain things to prepare their hearts and to show contrition before the celebration of Easter. You may see some people with a cross made of ash on their forehead on Ash Wednesday as a reminder to repent and a reminder that we will all die eventually. As Genesis 3:19 says, “For you are dust, and to dust you will return.”
Whether you observe Ash Wednesday by having ashes put on your forehead or not, I hope you’ll find a quiet moment to observe the day. To remember that Jesus spent 40 days praying and fasting in the wilderness before He started His ministry. And to allow yourself to feel some of the negative emotions and practice sacrifice yourself leading up to Easter instead of just jumping straight to victory and celebration on Easter Sunday.
These practices are helpful to remind us of the price that Jesus paid and to help focus our attention on our continual need for His presence and work in our lives.