Agnus Dei and Ash Wednesday

Tomorrow, Wed, March 5th, is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent. I grew up Pentecostal and traveled the road to Dutch Reformed and in those traditions neither were observed. In fact, those traditions told us this was too “catholic”. Last year was my first Ash Wednesday and I was a bit nervous. Neither my husband nor I had decided to take on the mark of the Cross with ashes until just before the service and even when I did I was a bit self-conscious about it. However, it did impact me and was a reminder to me of three things:

1. I’m a creature made by the Hand of the Creator. I come from dust and one day to dust I will return. The ashes remind me that I am dust.

2. I am a fallen creature. I am a sinner in need of salvation. The ashes remind me to confess my many sins as done by God’s people in times of both personal and national mourning over sins.

3. I am a Redeemed Fallen Creature. The mark of the Cross is placed on my head and reminds me that though a sinner, in Christ Jesus, by His death and resurrection, I am justified, saved, forgiven.

Ash Wednesday, for some, can be just a tradition. However, in