Pip's Perspective March 4, 2022

Hi everyone, 

This Wednesday marked the first day of Lent in 2022. Broadway had our Ash Wednesday service Wednesday evening, and I experienced receiving the ashes for the first time ever. I grew up Lutheran, and at least when I was growing up, we didn't do the ash on the foreheads, and until now that was the last time I was in a Christian Church. 

The reason that I decided to receive the ashes this week is because the way Broadway writes its liturgy, a person can participate without vowing to believe a certain way. This is the same reason I participate in communion here but might not elsewhere. I don't have to swear my fealty to a particular belief system in order to take part. I very much appreciate the openness of this church.

I was really moved by Lee's homily on the meanings of the day, particularly the part about how we can allow fire to burn away that which is no longer serving us. Pagans have a similar philosophy, in our belief in the life-death-life cycle, that all eventually dies, but is reborn anew. This resonates with the Christian notion of the Resurrection. We aren't really so different, are we? 

This year, our Lenten theme is "Good Enough." This does NOT mean accepting harmful treatment, or choosing to stay stuck. It means nurturing the life we have now, accepting ourselves as we are now. With this theme, I would say that what we are letting burn away is the value of perfectionism. We can strive for transformation, and growth, and even if we don't reach perfection, that is okay. Because, our best, ultimately, is Good Enough.

 

To me, the receiving of the ashes is about accepting the transformation of one's life. We come from ashes, and to ashes we will return. All eventually changes, and is reborn. Easter comes every year. Honoring this continual never-ending cycle as sacred is a way of inviting the sacred into our awareness, into our bodies, into our cells. In receiving the ashes, we honor the cycles of transformation, and ultimately God who created the cycles of life and death.

 

Epiphany (Pip) Paris

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