My day yesterday started with three-year-olds, learning about Ash Wednesday. We discussed Jesus' sacrifice, and how He made us from dust. We told the kids that getting the ashes on our foreheads wouldn't hurt, and that it would be a great reminder of what Jesus did for us on the cross. And, as it does every year, it blessed my heart to watch these children come forward and receive the sign of the cross.
And tonight, my whole family (with my husband a just a few feet away) was together for worship. What a wonderful opportunity Ash Wednesday is to still the busyness of our lives. During the service we heard about the three lenten practices: fasting, prayer and helping those in need. We pondered how often we "fall asleep" when Jesus asks us to wait and keep watch. We sang songs and hymns calling us to a deeper understanding of Christ's saving work on the cross. We received ashes on our foreheads that reminded us that "dust we are, and to dust we shall return". And finally, most importantly, we received the Eucharist. Christ's body and blood, given for us.
The weather was a little sketchy in our neck of the woods, snow blowing and gusting when we glanced out the sanctuary windows. But inside the church, we sat with our church family, together and warm. We were sitting in the back row (still the best choice for my family!), so I was able to see many of the people gathered for worship. And I was overcome with my love for them -- our church family. These people love us, support us, and and strengthen us in our daily Christian walk. I am so thankful God placed us here, a place full of His servants.