2605 N Fort Valley Rd. Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Ash Wednesday 2019

What is Ash Wednesday?
Early in the history of the Christian church, it became the custom to baptize and confirm adults on Easter Sunday. Makes sense, doesn’t it? What better day to celebrate new life in Christ?
How long was the instruction from the Bible before that day? In some places, the custom arose of spending 40 days in daily instruction, skipping Sundays (since there was instruction for the whole congregation that day). Forty is a significant number in the Bible; it was the number of days that Jesus was in the wilderness before his temptation by Satan, among other things.
Forty days before Easter, skipping Sundays, lands you on a Wednesday. So the time of instruction began on Wednesday. And what is the first step in the life of faith? Repentance. So that first Wednesday of instruction became associated with repentance. Ashes are also associated with repentance in the Bible (Jeremiah 6:26, Matthew 11:21). Ashes are what was left over after the Old Testament burnt sacrifices in the Temple, the sacrifices that pointed to Jesus’ death for us on the cross. Ash Wednesday is a day for repentance, sorrow over sin, and trust in Jesus for our salvation.
Since the time of daylight is lengthening every day in Europe and America during the forty days, we call them a shortened version of the word “Lengthen”: “Lent.” Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season. It is an appropriate time for repentance and study of God’s Word, with special focus on Christ and his cross.

Join us for Worship this Ash Wednesday – March 6 at 6:30 PM
Soup and Salad Supper at 5:30 pm
We’ll also be using this beautiful song in this service — give it a listen!

Lord, Have Mercy

Explanation written by Rev. Paul Prange. Originally posted at wels.net