Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday: (n) the first day of Lent in the Western Christian Church, marked by services of penitence.dictionary with letter A

I like making lemonade.

The recipe is simple. Make it strong and sweet, and then add water to taste. If you’re going to put it over ice, you don’t really need to add any water.

You don’t have to come up with the perfect blend as long as you don’t make it too weak to begin with. Because after all, it is impossible to make stronger lemonade after you’ve already watered it down.

The same is true with people.

I would much rather have them strong and let time, experience and wisdom add the water of humility to them. Making them weak through anemic philosophy and then being upset with them when they fail at tasks or don’t have the gumption to keep up and continue is mean-spirited.

Faith offers us the pungency of life and then nature waters us down with humility. We don’t need religion to come along and tell us how weak we really are or smear ashes on our faces during Ash Wednesday to confirm our decrepit condition.

Life does a real good job with that.

So when we tell people they’re “filthy sinners” and they’re “unworthy” and they come face-to-face with life, which will also mercilessly point out their inadequacies, we are not raising children of the kingdom of God, but rather, nervous, twitching, frustrated and cowering victims.

  • Jesus did not come to take away our lives, but instead, to give us life.
  • Jesus did not come to temper our joy, but instead, to give us full joy.
  • Jesus did not come to tell us that we are bland and have no salt, or dim and have no light. He proclaimed us the “light of the world,” flavored with the “salt of the earth.”

As for me. I do not need ashes smeared on my face to remind me that I am often sullied by my own vices and weaknesses.

What I need is a faith that lifts me up so that when my lemonade is diluted … it still tastes sweet.


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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


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