Ashes

Today is Ash Wednesday.  Tonight if you so choose and if you show up at the CoOp you can receive ashes like this on your forehead (or I know some who like it on their hand).  And either Mark or I will say to you, “Remember…you are dust…and to dust you will return.”

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality as we enter into the season of Lent.  This day can be very powerful for some.  We enter into a time of desert…of wandering…of reflection and time with God.

For me, Ash Wednesday begins a journey.  What will I take on for Lent?  (I tend to not give something up but something to deepn my journey.)  What will I do to get closer to God?  Will I observe the spring making its way in?  Will I spend more time in scripture? Will I write to more friends, eat healthier, work out more, walk every day, take a photo and reflect…or perhaps I will take this time to turn back to God.  I will recognize thin spaces and then write them here.  I will spend time in scripture and write here in conversation.

So be on the look out for the thin spaces with me please. 🙂  Today as I was in the office, I heard the most amazing piano from the basement.  The music filled the North building with Jazz and soul.  I went to Jenn, the office manager and asked what was up.  She had given permission to this guy waiting for his AA meeting to play until the others came to the meeting.

I walked down to the basement to thank him for his gifts.  Thin places.  Would love to see you tonight to help me to remember that I am dust.

Isaiah 58:1-12

Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. 2Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God.

3“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. 4Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. 5Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 6Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

8Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. 11The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. 12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

Peace,

Courtney

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