“In our end is our beginning”

AshWednesday

I went to my first ever Ash Wednesday service last night, and it was one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had. Since I grew up in non-denominational churches, Ash Wednesday was something I knew about but didn’t understand at all. It honestly seemed really odd to me that people would walk around all day with an ashen cross on their foreheads.

After the service, I was convicted about how wrong I was to judge something that I didn’t fully understand. The cross of ashes is a powerful symbol of remembrance—as Ecclesiastes 3:20 reminds us, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.” I don’t have any deep insights that came from the service, but it forced me to be still and to realize the weight of the truth that God became human and died for me. Death is one thing that we can never escape, but God gives us the gift of life with Him even after our earthly bodies return to ashes. During the season of Lent this year, I am going to try much harder to remember what a powerful gift that is. I want to remember the sacrifice Jesus made and repent of all the times I forget to stop and say thank you.

My pastor shared the “Hymn of Promise” at the service, and I wanted to post it here. I also found a video of a choral performance of the hymn, and the music is beautiful too. The link is at the end of this post. These words are filled with the hope and promise that we have in Christ. My hope for all of us is that we don’t take this season of Lent for granted or ignore it—but that we take the time to focus our hearts and minds on the greatest Sacrifice and Love ever given.

“Hymn of Promise”

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

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