On Ash Wednesday, we begin the 40 day Lenten journey to Holy Week and Easter. It is a time of deep reflection and prayer, inviting us to enter deep into our hearts, into God's temple within each of us.
As your clergy person prepares the ash, she/he/they mix olive oil with ash; mixing the symbol of healing with the symbol of letting go/death.
As you approach your clergy person and they place ash on your forehead or hand, they speak to you, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
This statement is an invitation to remember that God created us from the earth, from dust. That our bodies hold all the elements of God's creation. That when we pass from this life, we return to the earth, fertilizing it for new growth, new life to come forth.
As the ash is spread across your forehead or hand, you are invited to take this spiritually into your heart.
What needs to be released, let go, die in your life for new life, new beginnings, hope to arrive on Easter?
What is holding you back, obstructing your connection with the Sacred? How can you allow that to pass from your life so you can reconnect with the One who created you?
The oil in the ash reminds you that you are on a healing journey; that as you release limiting beliefs, blocks, negative habits, whatever is holding you back, there is a healing Presence that soothes your soul, that companions you. The olive oil reminds you that that healing presence is Christ Jesus. He knows the path you are invited to walk as you let go. He knows the fears and anxieties that arise as we work to transform our lives to be more in alignment with the Sacred, with our Soul. He knows how to hold you in your grief, how to encourage you in your despair, your to embolden you in your fear. He is ever present!
This ancient beautiful ritual offers us the opportunity to join millions of others and declare that we too are on a path of healing; that we too seek to be better humans, that we too desire God's Economy to be present in our world.
Join me today. What is the Sacred inviting you to let go of this Lenten season? What is keeping you from deepening your relationship with the Holy One? What practice do would help you step more fully into the person you desire to be, the person the Sacred is calling you to be?
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson weaves together her training as a Light and Energy worker, Reiki master, spiritual director, and Pastor with her life experience as a mystic and contemplative to offer a space of trust, safety, and honesty to support you on your life's journey.