It is Ash Wednesday. Tonight Tom and I will attend our church’s Ash Wednesday service and have our foreheads marked with an ash cross. However my Ash Wednesday service has already begun. As I have done for the last few years, this morning I have gathered my Palm Sunday crosses from last year, added a few post it notes on which I have written what I hope to see transformed during Lent and then burnt them.
This year I chose to burn them in my Australian themed contemplative garden which I created earlier in the year when the Australian bushfires were at their height. It was a powerful reflective ritual as I not only remembered my own need for transformation but was reminded once again of the devastation done by the fires and the need for renewal in the bush of Australia
Tomorrow I plan to sprinkle some seeds over the rest of the garden. Hopefully by Easter they will have sprouted and in the summer my garden could be alive with greenery and even flowers. However in anticipation of this new growth and a symbol of hope that the planting of seeds gives me, I have added a few seed pods to my garden. I love looking at them and thinking of what could be sprouting in all the barren and hurting places of our world and lives during this season.
I am also pleased to be starting For the Beauty of The Earth: A Lenten Devotional by Leah Schade but have also been sent a link to a free devotional by Randy Woodley entitled Drawing Closer to Creation and Creator: An Indigenous Journey Through Lent that I highly recommend to you as well.
Last but not least I have written a prayer for Ash Wednesday I hope you enjoy it.
Jesus come and save us.
We are marked with ashes,
We are but dust,
Only you can change our unclean souls.
Bring us to repentance,
Wash away the scars,
Plant seeds in the desert,
Bring life where death once reigned.
Cleanse us with the water of life.
Transform us God of all.
Restore our sight,
Renew our planet,
Teach us truth.
Speak words that bring wholeness,
To our communities,
To the earth our island home.