As we find ourselves on the cusp of the beginning of Lent, Bishop Ward invites us to gather virtually for a conference-wide Ash Wednesday service on Feb. 17.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Swing low sweet chariot, Comin’ for to carry me home.” As we remember this beautiful spiritual together, we prepare ourselves well for the appointed text for Sunday from 2 Kings, the story of Elijah leaving this earth on a chariot of fire for heaven, and Elisha, his disciple watching in amazement.
We are on the cusp of the beginning of Lent. This is a season when we consider things earthly and things heavenly. Perhaps you are like me. Perhaps your household is like my own. We pick up shells on beaches, rocks on mountains, we pick up sand or dirt in places that we have enjoyed and we sometimes bring home water from a beautiful beach, a lakeside, or a river. This is a sacramental act. Sacrament is the gift of God to us. It’s the taking of simple things, rocks, shells, dirt, water, and having them be for us holy things by the spirit of God.
We will gather virtually for a Conference-wide Ash Wednesday Service next week, Wednesday at noon. I hope you join in this brief time of worship together.
We will center on scriptural texts of dust and ashes. Dust and ashes, we are created from dust and we return to dust. We’re reminded of this in Genesis and Ecclesiastes and the biblical image of dust along with ashes for penitence and mourning are rich for us. I hope that you will find some dirt that is meaningful to you, perhaps from your garden, your yard, your farm, from a place where you have brought home sand or earth as a remembrance. I hope you will put it in a bowl in the center of your worship space as we worship together and I hope that you will keep it there throughout the season of Lent. In this way, we will remember that we were created from earth, dust, and that we return to dust. We will remember our mortality together and in this season of distancing physically from one another, we will be drawn into strong unity with one another. We share the journey as a human family toward the great hope and certainty of life everlasting.
I look forward to seeing you next Wednesday, Feb. 17, at noon.