top of page

From Ashes-To-Go to Deep Spiritual Renewal

Embracing the Journey: Reflections on Lent

Rev. Anne Abdy

From Ashes-To-Go to Deep Spiritual Renewal

From the Priest's Corner

Dear Friends in Christ,

When you receive the Holy Crossings this week, Ash Wednesday will have come and gone. You might be considering what to give up or what spiritual practice you might want to add to your Lenten practice. In the Ash Wednesday service, the congregation gathers to lament our sins and acknowledge our humanness to sin before God. And as we move through the 13 prayers or so, the words and tone turn to repentance, reconciliation, and love for God and God’s love for His people, the Children of God—US! If you were not able to attend the service last evening, I encourage you to read the service today. The language is beautiful.

Yesterday, I also offered the popular fad-like “convenient” Christian practice of Ashes-To-Go. One individual even drove from Porter’s Neck “looking for Ashes” and another was a neighbor who walked over because of the closeness of the church, knowing she would leave her ill husband for just a few minutes. During about 45 minutes, 15 cars drove into the parking lot, and a total of 21 individuals received a prayer and the outward sign of the cross on their foreheads. The ashy cross reminds them of the oily cross received at baptism. While these individuals did not hear the words of the service, in some mysterious way, they were changed. They were reconciled with God.

As author Joanna Leiserson writes in her reflection for Ash Wednesday:

“The heart of Ash Wednesday is an invitation to go deeper into the heart of God. The whole point is not that we are dust, but that we are precious enough to God that God would send God’s only Son to redeem us and to reconcile us to God. The point is not that God wants us to be buried in ashes but that God wants us to be buried with Christ—and then risen with him. God desires not separation but relationship with us, not the death of sinners but life for us sinners.”

All our journeys this Lent will be different, but I pray that as you journey through this season, you may gain insights not known before. Have a blessed and holy Lent!


Rev. Anne

Citation: Joanna Leiserson. 2014. A Grown-Up Lent: When Giving Up Chocolate Isn’t Enough. New York, NY: Moorehouse Publishing. p. 4.

bottom of page