Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ashes

















Your only son
No sin to hide
But you have sent him
From your side
To walk upon this guilty sod
And to become the lamb of God

I was so lost I should have died
But you have brought me to your side
To be led by your staff and rod
And to be called a lamb of God
Twila Paris


This is one of the beautiful hymns we sung at church tonight. If you haven't heard it, it's worth a listen. The church we went to isn't ours, because our church does not have Ash Wednesday services. So we went with a friend to her church. Here are some pictures of this beautiful, old church. We get ashes on our heads to remind us that we are made from dust and will return there. To remind us how badly God wants us to turn to him and repent. In the Old Testament, men would repent by pouring ashes on their heads or sitting in ashes. This service is a wonderful thing to participate in, because it reminds me in a strongly visual and sensory way of God's promises to us, that he has sealed us. The pastor speaks directly to each person, and an unexplainable feeling comes over me. Though I have been going through a hard time lately, I feel reassured, blessed, and comforted. All from a few ashes.


"We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love." Psalm 44:25,26

34 comments:

pam said...

I don't normally get into the whole Lent thing...but this year God has already been stirring in me about things of the world that consume me a bit too much. More focus on Him...not the cares and ways of this world. Peace to your spirit, rest to your body.

Arti said...

What ashes are those, here in India we put the ashes of the Earthen lamps on the forehead! The ritual of putting ashes on the forehead looks very Indian, is it common there too??
Beautiful pics of the church, the colorful glass paintings look very beautiful! Hope you had a lovely birthday...
Have a good day:)

DawnTreader said...

I've been to this kind of service in one of our Lutheran churches once or twice in the past. I also like the Easter services in that church. If one is able to follow them all that enhances the experience of going through the whole drama from despair to resurrection.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a beautiful church, the stained glass so pretty with the sun shining through. But my favorite is your header with the brick cross.

Tracy said...

Ginny,
I love the Lenten season and Easter is my favorite holiday! Thank you for posting such a powerful reminder! I like the song you posted, but Easter hymns are my absolute favorite...Christ the Lord has risen indeed, Allelujah!

(I know the spelling isn't right on that A word but that wasn't the point!)

Sandra said...

i have never been in a church that does the lent ashes thing and always wondered what the meaning is. this explains it beautiful and now i have a much better understanding when i see it on people. the church is so very beautiful. I am glad the service gave you peace and joy

Ruthi said...

Oh, Ash Wednesday. I grew up participating in this tradition. I was raised as a Catholic and it is part of our religious tradition. I miss the Lenten Season in the Philippines. Here I wasn't able to do any of those since I migrated. You are blessed to have the time to practice your faith. May the Lord continue to shower you with his blessings. Stay happy.

From the Kitchen said...

Our church doesn't have anything special on Ash Wednesday either. I like how you embrace some aspects of what various denominations do. Lovely photos of a lovely church.

Best,
Bonnie

Mildred said...

Thanks you for sharing Ginny. The photos of the church are beautiful.

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

Nice post!

reanaclaire said...

Both of u look so lovely... Happy Birthday to you again, Ginny...

Shug said...

Beautiful pictures of the church.

Our church..{Assembly of God} does not participate in the Lent season.
However, I believe it is up to the individual as to what they feel in their heart in regards to giving up something or to use this time to focus on God's Will for our life.
I am not that familiar with Ash Wednesday or the Ashes, but I did see a girl yesterday at Hobby Lobby that had her ashes on her forehead. I am glad that you shared this information with us.
Isn't Gods love the BEST!!
Have a wonderful day!
Warm Hugs
Shug

Karin said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Some of the traditions in other churches are getting a new understanding and starting to have a sense of meaning at a deeper level for those not raised that way. You took some lovely photos of the church! It's wonderful how God blesses our heart's desire to keep seeking, keep asking, keep knocking!

hip-chick said...

What a beautiful church. I love Ash Wednesday and what it represents but I was not able to go this year.

Mary said...

Ginny, your photos are wonderful. I'm jumping in much earlier than usual to let you know I did get yesterdays Comment. I'm set up so I don't miss any of them. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Ginny, So glad you and your husband had a good Ash Wednesday and a nice birthday for yourself. Isn't that stained glass window showing the Madonna and child wonderful? I think so. Have a super nice day today!

Nezzy said...

I just adore this season of remembrance of the sacrifices made for mankind.

The church is just magnificently beautiful!!!

God bless ya and enjoy this day sweetie!!!

Regina said...

Love the Psalm and the song quote Ginny..stained glass and ashes will forever take me back to my childhood (catholicism) We did that but somehow it's that I remember seeing my mom with the ashes on her forehead.

Chatty Crone said...

Your church is beautiful - I love stain glass - my brother and sister in law do that type of work and it is amazing.

What did you give up for Lent?

And it is wonderful that Jesus came and died for us. I am so grateful.

Love,sandie

Doris Sturm said...

Coming from Europe, I miss old, elaborate Churches because that's what I was raised on...and I always feel so lucky when I find one that reminds me of those early days of growing up Roman Catholic.

Isn't it amazing when that happens - when the priest or pastor appears to be speaking just to you? It is like a message straight from God and does give reassurance of his presence in our lives.

LC said...

You have articulated so well those temporal experiences which provide connection to God. Happy late birthday too. Loved that post.

Remington said...

Great pics! What a great time of year.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I received ashes also yesterday. It is a good reminder that all things pass and only God remains.

I hope things will be better for you soon, Ginny!

Stuff could always be worse said...

I love this Church, it is beautiful. I have never been to a service with Ashes, it does sound so spiritual, beautiful.
kim

Ann said...

I remember as a kid going to church on ash Wednesday. I was always embarrassed about the dirty smudge on my forehead and couldn't wait to wipe it off. What do kids know huh?
Those are beautiful pictures of the church. I'm also glad to hear that you found comfort in the service that you attended.

LV said...

This is so interesting. I have never been to church on Ash Wednesday. A most inspiring post.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Ginny, We missed Ash Wednesday services this year due to our trip.. But I will say that that is one of my most favorite services of the year. I also enjoy going through Lent. Without Lent and Holy Week, one cannot enjoy the true meaning of Easter.

Hugs,
Betsy

Kerrie said...

You are truly blessed Ginny....

S. Etole said...

The windows are real works of art ...

gemini said...

Thank you Ginny for your encouraging words, this week was really tough for us. And I see you started celebrating the Lent season. Although we do not celebrate, I appreciate the spirit and remembrance from dust we came to dust we return. Happy weekend ahead and blessings for your hubby and the whole family.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am happy for you,that this service was meaningful and special.God's love is so great and I too often take it for granted.
Blessings,Ruth

Annie said...

Ahh, Ginny, it was so wonderful to see the one Catholic church in your area. Somehow I wasn't too surprised when you mentioned there were so few. I've heard that from others in the southern and Mid-Atlantic states. And don't even get me started on the drive from Fayetteville, AK to Oklahoma City. LOL You and Phil look wonderful together; so happy.

Ann said...

Strange, I do not know this song. Despite going to church all my life and attending a Methodist school.

The stain glass is beautiful.

kanak7 said...

Very symbolic! And the pictures of the stained glass windows are so beautiful, Ginny.