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  • Writer's pictureshelisloterbeek

a slow journey through lent: ash wednesday

And so we begin.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the lenten season - a time to repent, remember, reflect and renew. These are the words I've chosen to focus on the next 40 days. (You can feel free to choose your own if you'd like.)

There's a lot of church history about ashes and having them placed on your forehead and all of that is great to know, but today I'd like to focus on two things. The first is ashes: from dust we come and to dust we shall return (Gen 3:19). Ashes and dirt remind us of our own mortality, the finite time our physical bodies are here on the earth.

Ashes are also a reminder of repentance - an outward expression of sorrow and mourning for the dark places that have been illuminated in our soul.

If there is something you'd like to leave here in this space, please feel free to do so in the comments or send me a message.

Take a few minutes today. Quiet yourself - take (at least) three deep breaths. Acknowledge the work

of God and the Spirit within you. Find ashes or dirt and hold them in your hand for at least one minute. Is there a word, a phrase, feeling or image that comes to you? Take that with you throughout the day. Ask for understanding or feel free to sit with the Mystery.

The Scripture for the week is Psalm 25:1-9. Feel free to read it through today or leave it for another day. If you do decide to read it through, just let the words rest. Don't study or try to find meaning.

O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past.

Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.

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