Friday 11 March 2016
Every thoughtful Christian instinctively
recognizes that Lent is a very special, grace-filled, and challenging time of
the year. Lent is the season of the Christian year where believers examine
their own humanity and ways they separate themselves from God to prepare for
Jesus' death and resurrection. It lasts for forty days, reflective of the forty
days Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. As Christians enter their own
symbolic wilderness during Lent, they remember their own humanity, vulnerable
to temptation, just like Jesus in the wilderness.
Ash Wednesday begins Lent to remind believers
that only with God's help can they overcome their sin and suffering as human
beings. As Jesus entered into the wilderness, he needed God to defeat the
devil. In a similar manner, believers entering Lent, a season of facing sin,
need a reminder of their mortality to encourage their reliance on God.
On Ash Wednesday, Christians attend a church
service where a minister will mark believers' foreheads with ashes and utter a
variation of, "remember you are but dust, and to dust you shall
return." This service helps them to remember their own mortality and ask
for God's help, just as Jesus did in the wilderness, so that they might be
saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The ashes remind believers that they will die
and will literally rot away without God's gift of eternal life, which
Christians believe comes from Jesus Christ. The believer then leaves the
service, marked with a symbol of her or his humanity, as an invitation for
penance. Jesus died and rose again, to save those who confessed their sins,
essentially those who are human. Being human is a necessary condition for God's
Wish you all the blessings of the Season.