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ASH WEDNESDAY



*ASH WEDNESDAY*
Ash Wednesday is the first day of
Lent. Its official name is "Day of
Ashes," so called because of the
practice of rubbing ashes on one's
forehead in the sign of a cross.
Since it is exactly 40 days (excluding
Sundays) before Easter Sunday, it
will always fall on a Wednesday-
there cannot be an "Ash Thursday"
or "Ash Monday." The Bible never
mentions Ash Wednesday-for that
matter, it never mentions Lent.
*Lent* is intended to be a time of
*self-denial*, *moderation*, *fasting*,
and the *forsaking of sinful activities*
and habits.
*Ash Wednesday*
commences this period of spiritual
discipline. *Ash Wednesday* and *Lent*are observed by most Catholics and some Protestant denominations.
The Eastern Orthodox Church does
not observe Ash Wednesday;
instead, they start Lent on "Clean
Monday."
While the Bible does not mention
Ash Wednesday, it does record
accounts of people in the Old
Testament using dust and ashes as
symbols of repentance and/or
mourning (2 Samuel 13:19; Esther
4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3). The
modern tradition of rubbing a cross
on a person's forehead supposedly
identifies that person with Jesus
Christ.
Should a Christian observe Ash
Wednesday? Since the Bible
nowhere explicitly commands or
condemns such a practice,
Christians are at liberty to
prayerfully decide whether or not to
observe Ash Wednesday.
If a Christian decides to observe
Ash Wednesday and/or Lent, it is
important to have a biblical
perspective. Jesus warned us
against making a show of our
fasting: "When you fast, do not look
somber as the hypocrites do, for
they disfigure their faces to show
men they are fasting. I tell you the
truth, they have received their
reward in full. But when you fast,
put oil on your head and wash your
face, so that it will not be obvious
to men that you are fasting, but
only to your Father, who is
unseen" (Matthew 6:16-18). We
must not allow spiritual discipline to
become spiritual pride.
It is a good thing to repent of sinful
activities, but that's something
Christians should do every day, not
just during Lent. It's a good thing to
clearly identify oneself as a
Christian, but, again, this should be
an everyday identification. And it is
good to remember that no ritual
can make one's heart right with
God.
*Ash Wednesday Calendar*
2018 - February 14
2019 - March 6
2020 - February 26
ASH WEDNESDAY ASH WEDNESDAY Reviewed by ashok msd on 18:59 Rating: 5

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