This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26
Thursday, March 6, 2014
The Sin of Pride
"Excuse me...you have something on your head." says some tentative stranger. "Ummm...yes, those are ashes. It is Ash Wednesday." I reply.
"Oh, I forgot it was Ash Wednesday!" exclaims a non-practicing friend.
One day a year I allow a mark to be placed on my head and go out into the world to face strangers. The mark proclaims who I believe I belong to. It is more personal than any t-shirt or any piece of jewelry. It is right between my eyes so that if someone is to talk to me directly they have no choice but to see it. To see the cross in the ashes on my head.
That day was yesterday and while I've practiced the acceptance of ashes for a good part of my life, it never fails to make me uncomfortable. It is hard to walk around with a cross on your head. Our society is uncomfortable with that. The cross is not gold, not wooden, not even the palms that we sometimes weave out of Palm Sunday palms...but ashes. It is not a cross of pride, but admittance that we are unable to fix our situation of sin on our own. We need the cross that was on Calvary. We need the Lamb who bore our sin and suffering. And He did. And He will stand before the Father for us. To allow us to have the joy of heaven.
Why is it so awkward to walk around with ashes on my head for less than twenty-four hours?
Count it all joy,