St. Nicholas Writes, our resident writing group led by Dianne Armstrong, has written Lenten meditations for us to enjoy each day of Lent. We begin with an Ash Wednesday meditation authored by David Johnson:

Ash Wednesday by David Johnson

Today begins a long journey inward.
It is a journey as long as time.
It is a journey to help us remember how
the Earth is layered with ash.

It is a time to know the smoke that layers
all of history, and the fire that brought
the ash and made the smoke.

It is a journey to lead us to the center of
our human hearts and explore where the
fire is struck.

Flint and stone and tinder. They lie hidden.

Look deep. Look back. Remember:

Remember Jericho: Joshua 6:1-7 where
every man, woman, child slaughtered, except
Rahab.

Remember the Grecian Wars:
Remember Rome and Her Campaigns:
Remember Christendom and Her Crusades:
Remember the Reformation.

Fire. Smoke. Ashes.

Rememberour genocide of America’s Natives:
Remember the roaring furnaces of Auschwitz:
The Civil War: The Great Wars, I and II:

Remember the Cold War: Vietnam: Afghanistan.

Oh Friends, it goes on, steel against flint and
the tinder of flesh.

Let us take the ash from burnt palms upon
which the nimble footed donkey carried the
Christ nearer his cross.

Let us, these40 days, remain in wilderness,
wandering the many rooms of our hearts and find
those concealed weapons, whatever they might be.

Oh Friends, let us clean our homes and wear the
ash of our sweepings upon our foreheads
as a sign so strong we can hardly bear up
under all its meaning!

This is a time of penitence.
It is a time of work.
It is a time to polish and polish the altars of our
lives, and then rise up on Easter morning, as the
sun, and sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

Amen