Good morning! It is good to be back to writing each morning and sharing with you all. Thank you for journeying with me this season again. This is the 6th Lent that I have written as part of my own reflective journey. What a trip! Each day we will have scripture and reflection of some sort. Because Lent is 40 days, I am happy to share the blog with guest bloggers every once in a while. Let me know if you would like to write a day or if you have something you would like me to write on. 🙂
Today’s scripture: Matthew 18:1-17
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a child, whom he put among them, 3 and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. 6 “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!
For me, Ash Wednesday carries a lot of weight. For me, it reminds me that I have come from this earth and I am part of this earth. We come from dust and we return to dust. Ash Wednesday becomes weighty because it means that we are all apart of this.
Last Ash Wednesday I cut off a foot of my hair and donated it. This was the goal. I wanted it to go to something bigger than me. Almost two years before I made it my goal to be able to give of myself on Ash Wednesday. It felt symbolic. It was a physical reminder of change and new growth. It was literally cutting off the old and growing into the new. Last year, I was starting some new paths in my life. The cutting of my hair and the beginning of my journey started to take on new dimensions and reflective avenues to figure out who I was in the world more. I wouldn’t give that up for anything.
This year I am not cutting my hair off. I am not sure what to do about my hair actually. I am not going to worry about it this day. But this year I do feel as though the journey will be substantial again with new callings and new life. I find it profound that Spring seems to be coming earlier this year with daffodils already blooming (I am native Oregonian though and won’t be fooled by the sun….more rain to come I am sure of it). When I receive the Ash today I want to lean into what it means to be human, beginning journeys of discernment and living into what it means to be in human community.
What does Ash Wednesday mean for you?
One Comment Add yours
I am interested in the passage of stripture you presented here. Specifically, I wonder if you have thoughts about the “stumbling block” Jesus is talking about in this passage.
What are these stumbling blocks? How can we avoid becoming them for others? Can we safely make a distinction between challenging someone to deepen their faith and being a stumbling block to the “little children?”