Today is Ash Wednesday!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,..”

On this Ash Wednesday we know that those of us who are of a more liturgical mind will place that over Valentine’s Day and that many of our members will have the reverse perception!  So, we have an ash cross on our heads and roses in our hand!  This seems like an odd combination doesn’t it?  We are also celebrating Lutheran Schools this week!  Can we legitimately blend all of this together?

We all remember the song, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”  God does see and care about the whole world and He has all of us in His heart. One of the most famous and beloved passages in the Bible is, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  John 3:16-17  While we don’t always know the mind of God, we do know His heart!  It is a heart filled with grace and love!

As we enter this Lenten season we do so with sincere repentance – thus the ashes!  On Valentine’s Day we express the love we have for spouse, children, parents, etc.  This love flows from God to us as we share it in Word and Sacrament and celebrate it in our church relationships. The Via Dolorosa is the way of sacrificial love as Jesus revels the heart of the Father in giving His life for us.   It doesn’t all blend together perfectly, but it does a little!