Valentine Ashes

Posted by Ruth Beresford on

Next Wednesday we will experience the collision of two calendars, two cycles of marking time. Now that the Super Bowl is won, the secular cycle moves toward the celebration of love with Valentine's Day. All that Valentine's chocolate, the greeting cards, and social media posts will either celebrate love or poke at it cynically, but for a few days, we will be awash in red and pink and all things sweet and lovely. The other calendar belongs to the Church - this is the last week after the Epiphany, or better, the week before Lent begins. For the Christian calendar, this February 14th is Ash Wednesday, forty days and six Sundays before Easter. Our Jewish brothers and sisters are much more likely to assemble for worship on their Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, than we Christians are on our Ash Wednesday, but the point is similar - it's a day to acknowledge our distance from God because of our sins and God's power to remove them from us. Ash Wednesday reminds us that we need the loving mercy of God in order to know the life of blessing God desires for us.

Here's a suggestion - mark both Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday on February 14. Come to our worship at 6:30 AM, Noon, or 5:00 PM in the chapel or at 7:00 PM in the church. Come to hear about the love that is strong as death, as the poetry of the Song of Solomon describes it. Send the card, tell someone you love them, and remember that God loves you more - enough to forgive you and draw you into God's eternal embrace. Open the forty days of Lent and honor God's presence and eternal love in Jesus each of the six Sundays that lead to Easter, which is on a collision course with April Fools' Day this year. No joke.

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