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By Pastor Sandy Rothschiller

This week we will continue the ancient ritual of placing ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday. As I kid, I never went to Ash Wednesday services. I thought Ash Wednesday was only for those from the Catholic tradition. I could tell who the Catholic kids were in school because they had black stuff on their foreheads. You can imagine how surprised I was when I found out my church had Ash Wednesday services. They even put those black ashes on Lutheran foreheads!

Have you ever wondered why we put those ashes on our foreheads? Ashes are an ancient symbol. In Genesis, God formed human beings out of the “dust” of the earth. After the incident in the Garden of Eden God says “you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

On Ash Wednesday, the ashes are placed on our forehead, the words are spoken: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” recalling God’s words in Genesis.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and it is through the Ash Wednesday service we come before God recognizing our humanity, repenting of our sin, and remembering who we are and who we can be.

Sandy Rothschiller serves at the Pastor of Spiritual Care at Prince of Peace. 

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