When praise turns to ash

Ash Wednesday
Many churches burn the branches from Palm Sunday from one year to use for Ash Wednesday to initiate Lent the next. Do you ever feel your praises have turned to ash? Once you were shouting “Hallelujah” for his blessings in your life and now you’re sifting through smoldering dreams, plans and relationships.

The liturgical calendar offers highs and lows: Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and then Easter. It’s all part of the cycle of nature and the supernatural.

The important thing is to keep moving through time with trust and confidence in the eternal Father, Son and Spirit. Whether it’s palm branches of praise or their ashes of loss, God is continuing work out his “good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

      To all who mourn . . . he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair (Isaiah 61:3).

Remember, Ash Wednesday leads to Palm Sunday; Good Friday to Easter Sunday!

Copyright © 2018 James N. Watkins

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