What is Ash Wednesday all about?

Today is Ash Wednesday. It’s the official start of Lent, the 40-day period of anticipation and preparation leading up to Easter (excluding Sundays).

But what’s it all about?

Some Christians attend services where ashes are put on their foreheads. Some, not all; it really just depends on local customs and traditions.

Ashes symbolize our mourning and regret for sin. They also symbolize our mortality. This recalls Genesis 3:19 where Adam is punished for his disobedience to God and made to work the soil that he came from, and to which he will one day return: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

To me, today is always a day to remember my mortality. One day I am going to die. My heart will stop. My body will grow cold. I will be put in the ground.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

And even though I am totally confident in the eternal life that Jesus gives me, I think it’s healthy to just pause and think about my mortality.

I think it’s healthy for you to think about yours as well. You too will die one day. Your heart will stop. Your body will grow cold.

If that were to happen sooner than later, are you satisfied that you have been living by the right priorities?

Recently I was using the GPS in my car. I missed a turn, and so the GPS had to “re-calculate.” It made an adjustment, turned me around, and got me back on track.

Maybe that’s what Ash Wednesday needs to be for you, whether you get ashes on your forehead or not—a day to truly ask yourself if you’ve been living by the right priorities.

If not, re-calculate, and lean on God to get you back on track.

By Matthew Ruttan

–“Mature people mature people.” That’s my latest sermon, Part 3 in the “Mature” series which explores the importance of learning from the example of other mature Christians. Click here to watch in YouTube.

Human trafficking. I’m in my last week of fundraising for Fight4Freedom, and anti-trafficking organization in Canada. If you’ve like to contribute even $20 that would be so amazing! Click here to learn more.

–Did you miss the meaning of Shrove Tuesday? If so, click here. [1-minute read.]

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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