I went to a Church service on Ash Wednesday. I did not participate in the imposition of Ashes. Why? Simply because I still don’t fully understand why we do it but also because of the following verses from Matthew’s Gospel where it says
16“when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
As I observed yesterday’s service, I couldn’t help but wonder if we were going to the past. The feeling that I got was that Christ will have to be crucified all over again! Nowhere in the service were we reminded that this was just a commemoration. Given my Protestant background, the question I had was if as we say in our services that Christ has died, Christ has risen and Christ will come again….. why then do we go back to the past?
Up in the highlands of Scotland, during Communion seasons (communions are only held four times a year*). As people came to part-take in the communion, they would be dressed in black from head to toe. Sadly they commemorated the death of Christ but seem to ignore the great truth that Christ was raised from the dead on the third day and that He is now at the right hand of God the Father. Again, they too are holding on to the past and are struggling to move forward.
*I will have to write a whole new blogpost explaining the communion seasons!!!