In Roman Catholicism, Lutheran, Metodist, Episcopal, and other similar traditional churches, the minister places an ashen cross on the brow of a worshiper as a reminder of human mortality and repentance; And also as a way to prepare for Easter and the celebration of the Resurrection. Although this practice is not found in Scripture, it is an annual outside reminder of an inner work (similar to water baptism).
It is the beginning of a 40-day focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ, which ends on Holy Thursday just before Good Friday.
Believers choose to fast or sacrifice something they like for 40 days to remember the sacrifice of Jesus and the 40 days that they fasted in the wilderness and were tempted by Satan. Not bad theology and practice … For my Muslim friends this is our type of Ramadan.
Although my denomination does not have this practice, as a Pentecostal Minister, today the ecclesiastical calendar has a significant place in my life. The Ash Wednesday Date, moves me to reflect intentionally in the person and work of Jesus, his life, his miracles, his compassion, his holiness, his love, his suffering for all humanity, his crucifixion for every person who has lived, lives and will live, and in his resurrection from the dead and his sure return.
Although I may not agree with the practice of placing ash on your brow, I ask myself what am I sacrificing for Lent?
All I will say are the words of John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30).
Let the Easter time begin! Let us prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ!!!!