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Ash Wednesday

February 17, 2021 • Ben Boatright • Psalm 103:8-14

Ash Wednesday begins Lent, a season of repentance and renewal of our faith. On Ash Wednesday we remember with prayer, and with the tangible symbol of ashes, our mortal nature, our place in the cycle of life, and our dependence on God. Many people prepare for Lent's humbling nature and call to simplicity the day before Ash Wednesday, on what is called Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, by using the sugar and fat from their cupboards in their last feast or large celebration before Easter. The Lenten season of reflection and simplicity spans 40 days, not including Sundays. This commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert at the beginning of his public ministry, as recorded by the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Though this season is solemn and reflective, it is also a time of preparing our spirits for all that is to come; a "spring cleaning" for the soul. As is said in Godly Play, Lent is a time spent “getting ready to come close to the mystery of Easter.”