The Archbishop of Canterbury writes on Ash Wednesday

Today, 14th February 2024 is Valentine's day, but this year 14th February is also Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.

Archbishop Justin Welby published these comments today which I thought were worth sharing.

"There is something final about ash. 

It marks the presence of what used to be, but has been destroyed, burnt, obliterated. Something solid has turned to dust. 

In my recent visit to Ukraine, I saw ash settle upon a world of rubble and destruction. Ash reminds us of the forces of death that harm the lives of women, men, children and all creation.  

On Ash Wednesday, as we mark the beginning of Lent, we recognise that all of us are part of a story of sin and brokenness – none of us are untouched – through our own actions and choices, and through the actions and choices of others. We acknowledge our part and remember our fragility by tracing a cross of ash on our foreheads. 

But this is not where it ends. Ash Wednesday tells us to turn away from sin, but more importantly, it invites us to turn towards something infinitely more hopeful: the story of what God has done to bring us and all creation towards reconciliation and wholeness. 

“As the Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” — Psalm 103:13-14"


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