Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lent. I’ve posted a little bit of background on Lent, along with some resources, over at our church community’s website.

Kye Chung offers these great insights:

 It’s a day that we remember that we are mortal. That we are nothing without the breath of God. We are just dust and we’re going to die. And yet, it’s a day that we remember and eagerly anticipate the resurrection of Easter, the good news that because we are in need of a Savior, Christ is risen. The ash represents mortality, the cross represents hope.

On this day, and for the next 40 days, remember your mortality and your need for God … so, that when Easter comes, you will celebrate the new life that God has given you.

The way of the cross is difficult, sometimes impossibly so. And yet, the way to life is through the cross.

One way to counteract the slow drifting of our lives is to consciously enter into a different way of being. Fasting — particularly from food — jolts us out of the motion of our daily routine. I feel hunger; fasting can be a way to enter into life. As Scripture saysI want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Here is a brief Lenten prayer, excerpted from the Presbyterian Prayers for Lent:

Gracious God,
you are our way in the wilderness.
In our own times of testing
be our spiritual nourishment,
that we may hunger for righteousness

God of patience and compassion,
cause our lives to bear good fruit –
the fruit of repentance –
so that others may taste and see
your goodness and grace;
through Christ our Lord.