Ash Wednesday signals the start of the Lenten Season. As a Church, I want to set the direction for us. From the gospel today, Jesus gives us the meaning of fasting, praying and doing works of charity. He warns us that these are not for show or to punish ourselves because Lent is a time of regeneration not depravation. Lent is a time of conversion, not of destitution or self-starvation or self-abasement. We do this most effectively by putting down some of our regular needs and faculties so that we would be more effective in listening to God’s voice and heeding it and learning to discern.
It is a joyful evening. I don’t mind worshipping right beside the promise that God has given to us – our own land. Soon will rise on that site is something that will be a testimony. It may be small, but tonight, 2000 years ago started small. The event that changed the whole world started in a manger, of all places. A Child is born unto us, and it forever changed the world. The world will never be the same again.
What do people go to cemeteries for on this day? We prayed earlier in the Collect that we asked God to grant us grace that we would be followers of the example of the saints, particularly in their virtuous and godly living. Many times, we remember a saint for their martyrdom – how they withstood persecution, the gruesome way they died standing up for the gospel. We are really to remember not their dying, but their godly living.