Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Celebrating Ash Wednesday

This weekend I mentioned that Ash Wednesday was coming up.

“You’ll have to make spaghetti with meatless sauce,” I told DD#2.  (Wednesday is traditionally spaghetti night here.)

“Are we having cheese tortellini?” she asked.  “We always celebrate Ash Wednesday by having cheese tortellini!”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase celebrate Ash Wednesday before.  I don’t think of Lent as a time of celebration, although some family anniversaries and birthdays usually fall during Lent.  When I was growing up, Lent was a somber time, a time to reflect on the pending Crucifixion of Christ and His Resurrection.  Before beginning His public ministry, Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the desert, and then was tempted by the Devil.  Lent was our time in the desert, our chance to wrestle with our own small demons.

Celebrate Ash Wednesday?  Why?

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that DD#2 was right.  We should celebrate Ash Wednesday.  For it is by the Crucifixion that we are saved.  We are about to witness the ultimate Act of Love, the fulfillment of the Covenant God made with His People, after the Flood and on top of Mt. Sinai.  

We have been Chosen.  We are Saved.

Isn’t that reason enough to celebrate?

Monday night, I bought cheese tortellini, just for today.