Wooden carving of Jesus' empty tomb

Ash Wednesday & Lent

Holidays help to hold up traditions within families, friends, and general society that allow for people to come together and stay connected through celebration. Holidays are often filled with joy and laughter, and signify some aspect of life or a part of history that is meaningful and significant. There are countless holidays and traditions that are celebrated all over the world, however, within the realm of Christianity, one of the most meaningful occasions are Ash Wednesday and Lent.

Ash Wednesday is a sacred day in which individuals focus upon remembering their human faults and take time for repentance and recognition of their flaws. The significance of Ash Wednesday cannot be undervalued as it signifies the beginning of Lent, a mindful period of fasting and remembrance of an infinitely loving and forgiving God.

Lent is a 40 day season that excludes Sundays and is symbolic of the time that Jesus spent in the desert before he began his ministry. It is this time period that Jesus fought all the battles that come with human desire, and was able to overcome each through discipline and faith. The Lent season is a symbol of the discipline that Christ demonstrated before us and the sacrifice that He made for us on the cross.

The prevalence of Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent is not only prevalent within religious communities, but has held value historically for generations. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a period of 40 days before Easter. During these 40 days, we aim to be faithful in prayer, fasting, and giving thanks. This is a wonderful opportunity to dive deeper into your relationship with God, praying for guidance as we prepare for his resurrection and the celebration that comes with Easter Sunday. Through fasting, we are able to recognize the demands of our bodies and just how overwhelming they can really be. We can actually learn to have joy when we are hungry and find gratitude within suffering. Although there is no way to compare the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross to the small sacrifices many make during this season, it is a symbol of remembrance of the grace that we have been given.

The ashes of this holiday season signify the death of Christ, human repentance and the grace have all been given through the resurrection of Jesus. We are correcting our faults and purifying our hearts as we prepare for Easter through the Lent season, aiming to gain more control and discipline and grow in likeness to God. Although it is often a solemn time of remembrance, it is preparing for a unique and wonderful celebration of Easter, when we remember God rising from the grave and defeating death altogether. How wonderful to have a hope that will never end.

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