When praises turn to ashes
Many churches burn the branches from Palm Sunday of the previous year to use for the current year’s Ash Wednesday. (Ash Wednesday initiates Lent, which is a time of preparation for Easter.)
Do you ever feel your praises have turned to ashes? 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 lows and highs: Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and then Easter. It’s all part of the cycle of nature and the supernatural, ups and downs, joys and sorrows.
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 to 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. Ashes to praises!
Copyright © 2018 James N. Watkins
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