aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

The smoke thereof rises to heaven

Burning old palm fronds for Ash Wednesday is not my favorite liturgical chore. They are very resinous, even when dried out, which means they burn with a stench like old sins. The smell lingers on you afterwards, like a bad conscience that won't go away. And they burn with a surprising heat and take longer to be consumed than you might expect, again not unlike our sins.

So maybe this particular chore is good for me. Before I go into the church and lead others in renouncing their sins, I first have to spend some time reflecting upon my own. At such times, I feel utterly unworthy for my task, but I remind myself that it is only the grace of God in Jesus Christ that will save any of us; and said grace is given freely, again and again. Even to me.

  • What does the sign signify?

    I read an interesting investigative blogpost on the Eagle Rank recently which confirmed my impressions of what is going on with Scouting’s highest…

  • My goodness, has it been that long?

    This spring is the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. (It’s also the 30th anniversary of my Ph.D. commencement.) The three most useful…

  • On preaching

    My first appointment as a student pastor was in 1976. With only a year of seminary under my belt, I was made the pastor of three churches. Every…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.