Originally published March 2014
I was behind them in line. And in front of them. Children, lots of children. Also youth and young adults, old adults and in between adults. All patiently waiting for the imposition of ashes. We walked slowly up the center aisle of the sanctuary toward the pastor who was tagging each forehead with a sign of love. It was Ash Wednesday but it also was a Wednesday in March--a LOGOS night.
No one would have been surprised with a restless, noisy congregation as this was the end of a LOGOS evening. And it was a worship service with lots of readings and unfamiliar songs. But it wasn't restless or noisy.
The preparation helped. At Family Time after dinner, our pastor (and their friend) discussed the significance of this special evening--how Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and our recognition of the journey toward Easter. Bible teachers used palm leaves and ashes to discuss the importance some more.
The setting helped. Sanctuary lights were dimmed and extra candles were lit. The pastor looked more formal than on a typical LOGOS evening. The high schoolers sat with the preschoolers so both might be less distracted.
The Spirit helped. The Spirit surely was present as kids giggled a little in anticipation and touched their foreheads afterwards. And as they looked at the ash tags on one another--young and old one anothers. Each marked as part of one body. As ready (as we'll ever be) for the journey toward Easter.