The ashes of love.
Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday.
The power of the Resurrection is that love is never wasted, despite everything that comes with love, it is never wasted.

The conviction of the Cross, on the other hand, is that we waste so much of the love in our lives, and we waste so much of our lives by not choosing love.
The ashes of love.
The palms from the triumphal celebration of the arrival of Jesus, Palm Sunday, are burned and today those ashes are rubbed into our faces.

We love him then we crucify him.
It is what we do. It is how we do things. Love makes us vulnerable. Something in us strikes out at anything or anyone who is vulnerable, who disarms us.

Why do we do that?
We joke about giving up fun for Lent, and turning it into some kind of a sanctified diet plan, I do that all the time, but what Lent is really about is how we ultimately forsake and betray all that is love.
Why do we do that?
We love when it is easy.
But when love becomes something difficult, something that disarms us, that causes us to relent, to forgive, to change and to give beyond reason…ashes, ashes we all fall down.

A holy Lent.
The symbolic gestures of self denial are a good thing.
Go deeper than that. Confront the power of sin in ourselves that causes us to choose not to live in love.

That ash heap of all the ways we say no to love, Jesus rises from those ashes and turns them into the yes of Resurrection.
A season of repentance.
Of turning from and turning toward.
Of forsaking no and taking up yes.

Love disarms us and makes us vulnerable and we will be betrayed and hurt. It is how things work. Jesus shows us that there is more. Much more. A bid you a holy Lent.