Reflecting on Ash Wednesday

Do Lenten practices or conversations regarding them give you the feeling that Big Brother is Watching like Locaccino, a location tracking system being developed/used at Carnegie Mellon University? Click here to see a Chronicle of Higeher Ed video.

OR does our Lenten journey point to and live in the reality of the preciousness of Christ’s blood:

Angelico, fra, ca. 1400-1455. Piercing of Christ's Side, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved February 13, 2013]. Original source:

Angelico, fra, ca. 1400-1455. Piercing of Christ’s Side, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved February 13, 2013]. Original source:

The reason why Christ’s blood is “precious” in the Father’s sight is not that the Godhead likes blood. It is precious because Christ’s free sacrifice made it possible for the Father to offer to “all the world” a way to repair or to repent their sins, one that would respect human freedom. Not even God can forgive our sins by taking away our part in them. — from “Ash Wednesday,” by James Schall, S.J., The Catholic Thing, 2009.   HT to Kevin for passing along this article by a professor at Georgetown University.

Have some of us possibly even found ourselves celebrating a Happy Ash Wednesday?

On Ash Wednesday, that purpose is very much about a person acknowledging that they want to concentrate on God and reduce whatever is keeping them from God. — Weblog: Happy Ash Wednesday, compiled by Ted Olsen, posted 3/01/2006 12:00AM

As Emerging Scholars, let us embrace and apply to our whole lives (including our vocation) the complex nature of a season which includes confession, self-detachment, identifying with the temptation/last days of Jesus the Christ, abstinence, and aligning our will with the will of God.*  Over the course of the next 40 days (or so) there will be opportunity to share what you are giving up and what practices you are setting in place in order to dwell more deeply in the Presence of God and invest more richly in the mission of God.  Come prepared to share regarding your ‘field experiments.’

For example, some have given up Facebook(!)  Why?  In order to have the time and energy to be present/real with those around them AND to focus upon their work.  I’m scaling Facebook back to increase family time.  I’ll let you know how it goes, keep me accountable.

By God’s grace, may we as His people journey through Lent finding ourselves to be well watered and fed through His Word and Spirit, and NOT mired in the things of the flesh, the devil, and the world.  May we become known as the repairers of broken walls and restorer of streets with dwellings in our families, neighborhoods, and campuses.  To be continued, including more from Isaiah 58. …

*Thank-you to Pastor Gene Wingert for sharing these general categories at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ’s Ash Wednesday Service.

Update: 2/13/2013. 8:30 pm.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

More Posts - Website

One Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.