Imposition of Ashes Mixed with the Pouring Rain

The photo of the day today comes from my back yard, as it was being clobbered by wind and rain. This photo sort of summed up the day in some respects. We had two unexpected calls by two different doctors for Deborah, neither of which I was all that excited about, it was cold and obviously poured, for most of the day… and then…

We went to our Ash Wednesday service (my first that I can ever remember as an adult Christian). At this moment I am trying to figure out how to mentally unpack what just happened.

My emotions were on edge from the day already but sometimes just being able to worship with raw emotions allows the Holy Spirit to have an impact. Brian led worship with a song I hadn’t heard yet (apparently everyone else has) by Tomlin from Passion called “Spirit Fall”, written by Jason Ingram, Louie Giglio, Kristian Stanfill and Daniel Carson, which has some incredible energy with a room of 500 people singing…

Oh, come
Magnify the Son
Savior of the world
The hope for everyone

After an incredible message from Genesis through Luke led by Josh (podcast will be up tomorrow), followed by the “imposition of ashes”, Allen closed with this prayer called The Valley of Vision.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
You have brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see you in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold your glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter your stars shine;

Let me find your light in my darkness,
your life in my death,
your joy in my sorrow,
your grace in my sin,
your riches in my poverty,
your glory in my valley.

Amen

Sometimes it’s just hard to explain to how God works during corporate prayer and worship, but God was there, waiting for us to bring our worries and cares to Him. As explained by Josh tonight, today started a journey that walks down into and across a long valley and eventually ends up at the peak, the resurrection. I feel right now like I literally have no idea what is going to take place in our house over the next 7 weeks leading up to Easter, but I hope to look back at Easter and see that this night was one of those nights you just want to remember, even if the day wasn’t what you hoped for.

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