Remember, You are From Dust, and To Dust You Shall Return
The season of Lent is nearly upon us. It is a very special time in the church year: a time of reflection and soul searching - a time of preparation for Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Lent is observed as 40 days (not counting Sundays) beginning on Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday. All Christian churches with a history before 1500 AD observe Lent, and St. John Nottingham is no exception.
The focus during the season of Lent is the recognition that we are sinners leading us to confess our sins and repent of them. This will be done by the particular worship service we are planning, the message to be given and, in particular, with the ‘Imposition of Ashes’ onto the foreheads of those who would like to participate in that special part of the worship service.
By receiving the ashes, the worshipper acknowledges that God's judgment against their sin is right and just. Also, the ashes are applied to the forehead in the ‘sign of the cross’ - the very instrument by which our Lord Jesus took upon Himself the punishment for our sin… in our place.
The words “Remember, you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” are spoken by the pastors as the ashes are applied because they paraphrase the words of God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:19). And so, the cross of ashes and the words spoken serve to remind us that we are sinners, and that Jesus Christ died for us sinners.
St. John Notitngham will be holding its Ash Wednesday Worship Services, with the Imposition of Ashes, Wednesday February 26 at 1:30pm and again at 7:00pm.
All are welcome to worship and participate in the ‘Imposition of Ashes’, with the only requirement being that of an acknowledged sinner! Finally, for clarity, the Imposition of Ashes is purely symbolic, and is only an outward expression of our faith and of our humanity. To God be the glory!