Normally on Ash Wednesday our beautiful chapel doors are open, ready for you to come, worship, pray, and have ashes imposed on your forehead or hand as you begin your Lenten journey. However, with the pandemic, we developed alternative plans this year, allowing you a time of reflection while socially distanced in the chapel pews and, when ready, allowing your chaplains the honor and privilege to impose ashes. But this week, with our extreme weather conditions and our campus closure, we must again alter our plans.
Below, you will find the reflection questions you would have received walking in the chapel today. Although this is not the start to Lent any of us desired, the one intention that hasn’t changed and will never change is the presence of God, the love of Jesus, and the peace of the Holy Spirit surrounding you. No matter where you are this Ash Wednesday, take a moment to breathe, to reflect, to pray. And, know your chaplains are doing the same, making the sign of the cross for each of you as we too breathe, reflect, and pray. May your Lenten journey begin today as you hear these words:
It is from dust we came, and from dust we shall return…….
Lenten Reflection Questions for Ash Wednesday
1. In what ways have you extended compassion and cared for your neighbor? What have been the needs around you that you have neglected or ignored? How might you better commit yourself to being more attentive to the needs of others?
2. In what ways have you thoughtfully cared for the world around you? In what ways have you turned a blind eye or become apathetic? How might you more intentionally care for the gift of creation?
3. In what ways have you honored God in your life this past year? In what ways have you fallen short? How might you more intentionally honor God moving forward?
4. In what ways has your life been abundantly blessed this year? How have you used those gifts to help others? Are there things in your life that do not represent God’s desire for you? How might you let go of those things in order to be drawn closer to God?
May you all be well and warm, especially today.
– Rev. Lea McCracken