Random Thoughts after Ash Wednesday Service

Ash Wednesday services has become one of my favorite services next to Good Friday (and perhaps Easter). Then again, after embracing the Christian year as integral to my life … all the major Christian festivals as well as little minor ones has become a life shaping force for me.

Reading an email when i came back really lifted my spirit … thanks to “you know who” for these kind words, it’s nice to get some encouragement. Stuff like this energizes me to “blog on” (to the tune of the U2 song “walk on”!):

“I just want to tell you that your website has been a source of inspiration and encouragement. I am appreciative of the BLC family and your work there. In the morning, before I start work, I will usually read a piece of reading recommended on your site. During the day, I am streamming on to the songs that you now have on your site. Today, on Ash Wednesday, I resonate with this prayer, “Lord, I am not worthy Lord, I am not worthy, but speak the word only” as I journey through the day here at work, sitting at my cubicle.

Perhaps, the main issue here for me is that I found that your website has helped me reconcile workplace and faith. Thank you.”

We had a simple and short Ash Wednesday service in BLC based on the liturgy here from Philippines if I’m not mistaken Away with All Masks. The prayer before the “imposition of ashes” was profound:

Bless + these ashes, Lord,

as the sign of conversion and penance,

as the token that we want

to discover your Son today

in the silence of our prayer

and in our neighbors,

whom we encounter in their needs.

Let the sign of the cross,

given in the name of the Father,

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

encourage and heal us,

so that we may serve you and our neighbor

by the strength of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The closing blessing was also one which I appreciated much.

Only God can make us whole again

from our brokenness.

Only God can give us the insight

to discover how often we are alienated

from him, from people, even from our true selves.

Only God can give us the strength

to change our ways and to become all new.

May the living and loving God bless you:

the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I feel at peace right now. I know the short afternoon nap helped physically and emotionally.

I enjoyed spending the afternoon at my aunty’s place. Gave away nearly 25 An Pows. That’s how many kids were there. But when I heard my 45 year old cousin who’s in hospital now still battling cancer. The whole celebration and laughter was put in perspective. And it aligned me back to the season of Lent and suffering specifically. Thus prayers like this one:

“Only God can make us whole again

from our brokenness.”

means so much to me nowadays compared to when I was younger and especially when I had a more limited vision of who God is.

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