Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down - Ash Wednesday and Lent

Ash Wednesday is here already!  It seems like we just finished Christmas and Lent is starting!

It's time to turn our thoughts toward this somber season of reflection, prayer and strengthening our relationship with God and each other.  The Lent mid-week series is planned, and my congregations are doing a Lenten Bible Study on David Lose' "Making Sense of the Cross."   I'm trying something new this year - I'm hosting an on-line discussion of the themes of the book.  Next week, I'll post a quote, or a question, or both every day and invite discussion.

Until then, I thought I'd post some Ash Wednesday and Lent idea for you to get started on all that reflecting, praying and strengthening!

Need a quick refresher to what Lent is all about.  Busted Halo - the folks who brought us "Advent in 2 minutes" has your back with Ash Wednesday and Lent in 2 Minutes.  Great information - yes, they are Catholic-types, but most of us from main-line denominations have very similar practices to those described here.  And if you're not a Catholic, or main-liner, it's a really good way to see what your siblings in the faith are up to this time of year!

Also from the folks at Busted Halo, a Lent devotional calendar:  Fast - Pray - Give.  I like this calendar because it's short, uses popular culture for devotional thoughts, and has practical what-does-this-mean-for-my-life activity.

One of my favorite Bible commentators is David Lose.  He doesn't know this, but he has been a strong influence in boosting my daily devotional life.  I started following his blog In the Meantime last year during Lent.  What he had started as a Lenten devotional blog morphed into a year round devotional blog - and my Lenten devotions morphed into regular daily devotions.  Thank you David!  He's doing another round of Lenten devotions - and that's in addition to the other faith-and-thought-provoking blogs you'll find on his page.

And if you are wanting to deepen your daily prayer life, I found a couple of ideas for praying the daily offices (the traditional hourly prayers).  A blogpal clued me into Lutheran Church of Honolulu's Daily Prayer Page - it has Morning, Noon, Evening, and Compline prayers with links to the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal's assigned Bible readings for the day.  I admit - I covet their webpage!  So much good stuff to help their congregation (and everyone who goes to the web page too!) to grow in their faith.  As we work on the web pages for my congregations, we'll be copying (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!) at least some of their content.

Another idea for those who tweet - is the Virtual Abbey @Virtual_Abbey, or online at  I love the idea of gathering as a community and praying - with people from everywhere across , well, the whole world!

That's all I have now.  As I collect other ideas, I'll post them here!

Remember you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.
Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down.
Fall down in sin.
Fall down in sorrow.
Fall short of the mark.

God formed us from the dust of the ground,
and breathed life into us.
God breathes on us still,
Dust and ashes, shadow of the cross,
God picks up we who have fallen,
Dusts us off
and sets us free.

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