So, I've been doing a lot of thinking this week about Lent, which started Wednesday. In college, Ash Wednesday was observed with a service that included imposition of ashes, which I had never heard of before. During those years and several after, I regularly attended Ash Wednesday services, but have fallen out of the habit for lack of convenience. I could just find myself a local episcopal or catholic church I suppose... but haven't. My church will observe Lent on the next six Sundays but did not hold an Ash Wednesday service.
My recent involvement with planning worship has been the primary motivator for my thoughts being on this season. What it means. How to meaningfully observe the season of Lent while remembering that it is always followed by Easter. One could spend 6 weeks focusing only on sin and one's need for grace, but that thought just makes me sad and leaves me feeling hopeless. In fact, I don't think I could bear to consider my human, and therefore sinful, state without knowledge of redemption.
Today, I'm thankful for a faith that is defined primarily by God's gift of salvation, which we remember on Easter. Without question, it is important to acknowledge my need for that salvation. Doing so, knowing that I am redeemed, fills my heart with overwhelming gratitude.