Ash Wednesday

The service that begins our Lenten journey, known as Ash Wednesday, is on March 6. This is a service of penitence and humbleness, giving us time to reflect on our own mortality and sinfulness and allowing us time to turn from those things in our lives that we know are harmful and not Christ centered.

Ash Wednesday takes on a deeper meaning by being the entrance point to the Lenten season—a season in the church year where we remember the forty days before the crucifixion; where we make preparation for the celebration of the major event of the liturgical year and for the central event of our lives: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Ash Wednesday becomes a poignant remembrance of last year’s Palm Sunday and Easter celebrations, for we have saved the palm branches from that service and we burn them until they become ash which is then used to create a sign of penitence upon our foreheads this year. The use of ashes during the service gives an outward sign of our inward connection to the hope of death and resurrection. It also reminds us that we were formed from the dust of the earth, and that we will return to the earth at our last day. Highland’s ministers will also impose ashes on all infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who will be in childcare, as well as Carol Choir, and their teachers.

Join us on, Wednesday, March 6, at 6:15 p.m., in the Sanctuary, to experience a journey toward Easter filled with the wholeness and humanity that God dreams for us.

 

2019 Lenten Journey: The Mystery of God. The Humanity of Jesus.

Artwork by Allison Keenan

Lent beckons us into the unknown. Jesus, the mystery-made-flesh, leads us on a journey where our courage will be challenged. The seven weeks before us will include times when, like the first disciples, we will give in to temptation, choose the quick fix, and seek to control Jesus rather than follow him. Take heart: perfect courage is not required, nor should it even be assumed possible. Lent is the time to witness Jesus’ courage and consider our own willingness to wake up each day and choose to follow him, trusting in God’s mystery, Jesus’ humanity, and the power of the journey when we go it together.

Courage grows when we travel side-by-side. We can never be all together in one place, but we can journey together when we are prayerfully reflecting on the same questions and themes. You are invited this Lent to find a Lenten Companion with whom you will share conversation and intentional prayer on your own time over these seven weeks. Your Lenten Companion may be another Highland member, a work colleague, a friend from the gym, a spouse, or a neighbor.

On Mondays, you will receive an email that will include discussion prompts inspired by the next Sunday’s scripture and morning and evening prayers you can pray individually or with those with whom you live. Whomever you choose, this Lenten experience is meant to deepen your journey to the cross. Lent can be such an individualistic time, so we hope that this exercise unites us as we journey into the unknown. We will gather on Wednesday of Holy Week (April 17) to share about this experience of companionship before we enter into the Last Supper and the dispersal of the disciples as the cock crows.