The Ash of the Ash Wednesday

The Ash of the Ash Wednesday

You have gone again or would still go to the church to waste your time in the name of Ash Wednesday. And remember that it’s a Wednesday and not even Sunday. You have never gone for weekly mass in your life and there you were or you shall be sitting down, just waiting for the Ash to be applied to your forehead, and then you may even rush to the social media to show off. What a waste of grace; what a waste of time!!!

The event of Ash Wednesday has no connection to your heart, that’s why you don’t even know what it’s all about, “sit down dey look,” and later you hear : “anyị jee gbuo ntụ…mtcheww onye mgbu!!!” . And probably as you left the church, you were even planning on how to do “ojoro” for market. Chai, ndị ụka, please tear your heart!!!

What would even happen if you didn’t attend the Ash Wednesday liturgical celebration? If nothing, why attend at all? If for something, what’s the difference between this Ash Wednesday and other Wednesdays. Is it because Ash was added to this Wednesday? Can we make it Ash-Thursday?

You are a mere “ritualist!!!”

Ash is the grey matter in the form of dust that remains after something has completely been burnt or destroyed by fire, thus humbled. Does this in any way tell you something about the “ash of the Ash Wednesday,” when you here the priest say “dust you are and unto dust you shall return” as he marks your forehead with the ash?

Yes, it tells so much about nothingness just like ash is nothing but dust. Moreover, do you notice also how fragile the Ash is as you touch it and use it for whatever you want?

As dust, you were biblically moulded and formed into a being and made living by God’s breathe(Gen 2:7); that’s not a history but a message. However, sin has deformed you. If only as dust, you would put yourself wholly and humbly in the hands of God in Christ Jesus this lent, He would remould you, thus transformed, you become better at the end, which is Easter the time of resurrection. You shall become like a christological Phoenix.

Ash wednesday is not a mere beginning, it’s a beginning of a 40 days (minus Sundays) spiritual journey to be better. Don’t be a pharisee by letting people only see the Ash on your forehead without any deeper touch to your soul. Tear your heart!!!

Therefore, the act of putting on ashes symbolizes our fragility and mortality as well as our need to put our whole selves in the hands of God, to be redeemed by the mercy of God, such that the beginning of Lent,–Ash Wednesday, is marked with the blessing and imposition of ashes. The marking in the form of cross shows you have a saviour in Christ Jesus.

This is a visible reminder that such as something tangible (the palm) has perished to become dust, you too also ought to be humble and “remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

Repent and believe in the Gospel.
Welcome to the Lenten Season.

©Fada Henry Charles Umelechi

Truth Series.

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