Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season. We, a group of ministers in the Crescent Hill area, will be spending a part of that day at an ice cream parlor. Why are we combining ashes and ice cream?
First, allow us to provide a little background on Ash Wednesday and Lent. This is an important day and season during which we confront those aspects of our lives that deaden us, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We engage in such introspection not to be morbid, but so that we might more fully see that our salvation comes from the God by way of the mystery of Jesus Christ's resurrection, which we will celebrate at the conclusion of Lent on Easter Sunday morning. Throughout the ages, Christians have applied ashes in the form of a cross on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday as a visible reminder that all other paths lead us back to ash and dust, but the way of Jesus Christ leads to light and life.
We do not believe it is just church folks who recognize that life is full of futile endeavors, dead ends, and hopelessness. The fact that already this year so many people in our community have been murdered and that heroin addiction has reached epidemic proportions in Louisville are just two indicators that many people are searching for hope and salvation in our churches and community.
In an effort to communicate that God sees our hurt and that God offers a hope that transcends our feelings of hopelessness to those who may not be interested in or are unable to darken the doors of a church, we will impose ashes next Wednesday afternoon from 1:30pm until 3:00p at the Comfy Cow located at 2221 Frankfort Avenue. Note that this is not a service that will last from 1:30 until 3:00. The imposition of ashes only takes a few moments. We will be present at the Comfy Cow Frankfort Avenue location during this window of time.
Finally, you need not understand yourself to be Christian to participate in the imposition of ashes. All who wish to acknowledge that life can be tough, but that there is an enduring hope found in the good news of Jesus amid our sensations of hopelessness are welcome to join us. Or, to put it another way, all those who wish acknowledge that so much of life tastes as dry and unsatisfying as dust and ashes, but who still believe that by the grace of God ultimately life tastes as sweet as ice cream are welcome.