Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
So began the day, so begins the season. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, marks the time in the church year when we walk with Jesus to Jerusalem and to the cross.
The ashes remind us of Jesus' journey to the cross and of human sin which grieves God. They remind us of our own mortality. And they also serve as a mark of God's grace. As we carry Christ's cross with us, so also we share in his resurrection.
This morning, lay ministers from St. Matthew's offered ashes to more than 160 commuters at the Grove Street PATH station, the sixth year now. It is always a bit amazing the way people will stop, sometimes turning around, when they feel that God is close, reaching out to them, touchable.
This year our congregation's approach to Lent is to keep it simple. Sunday worship. Wednesday evening gathering for prayer and contemplation with scripture. We'll join with another congregation to walk a labyrinth.
Sometimes, the most we can manage is putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that God will guide us.
I'd appreciate your reflections and reports on the day and the season. How will you observe Ash Wednesday? What will you and your congregation be doing this Lent? And where are you in this - what's it mean, and how does this fit into your pilgrimage?