Worship with us:
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: 350 Lake Road, Basking Ridge, NJ – Somerset Hills Lutheran Church
(there is a parking lot behind the church)
Join us this Wednesday, February 22! This will be a service in English where we will pray, sing, receive the ashes and being the season of Lent. The service will be about 45 minutes long.
History of Ash Wednesday
Ashes were used in ancient times to express mourning. Dusting oneself with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults. An ancient example of one expressing one’s penitence is found in Job 42:3–6. Job says to God: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” The prophet Jeremiah, for example, calls for repentance this way: “O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes;” (Jeremiah 6:26). The prophet Daniel recounted pleading to God this way: “Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:3).
Ezekiel 9 also speaks of a linen-clad messenger marking the forehead of the city inhabitants that have sorrow over the sins of the people. All those without the mark are destroyed.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the 40-day period of Lent (excluding the 6 Sundays which are in Lent and not of it) which points to the time of prayer and fast in the wilderness by Jesus after His baptism. During this time he was tempted. Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13, and Luke 4:1–13. While not specifically instituted in the Bible, the 40-day period of repentance is also aligns with the 40 days during which Moses repented and fasted in response to the making of the Golden calf and the 40 years the Children of Israel spent wondering in the desert.
Would you like to know more about the meaning of Lent and Ash Wednesday? Read Pastor Dan’s blog here.