I led our Middle School’s chapel today and set out to explain Ash Wednesday to a this crowd fresh off the Mardi Gras floats and parades from the last month. A lot of them are Baptist, some of them are Methodist, Catholic and Presbyterian, many of them are non-attenders. I know the Baptists are pretty clueless about it, since I am one and know that its not a part of our heritage and tradition, though I think that’s changing. But the non-Baptist students seemed pretty unaware about the ashes and lent as well. It was refreshing to try and explain this new church season we are moving into today, even providing those who wanted to participate with the imposition of ashes. I, of course, walked away wondering if I communicated with them at all, as is always the case when teaching Middle schoolers. Below is an article by Michael Helms from Trinity Baptist Church in Moultrie, GA. He does a great job of explaining lent to the liturgically-challenged.
This journey begins today, Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of Lent, the season of preparation for Easter. Ash Wednesday is a day when we remember our mortality, our finiteness. Our time on this earth is brief. The Psalmist says, “Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here” (Psalms 103:15).