At the children’s sermon during this week’s Ash Wednesday service, 50 or so children crowded the front of the church. I explained that for centuries, Christians have put ashes on their heads to be reminded of our struggles and sins. For Lent, we remember that without God’s love, we all have bad ideas and actions in us. They were captivated and helped me generate a list of our own sins: lying, hitting our sister, not obeying our parents, not wanting to share. I then demonstrated burning a small leaf of a palm frond to make ash. As I lit the palm, fear filled one young boy’s eyes. I guess it was all too much. “We’re all going to die!” he exclaimed loudly. Oh, the joy of genuine contrition. And truth.
In Ashes and Flames