Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday, many Christians pause to remember both the fragility of life and our need for repentance.
Fragility of Life:
We mortals live, relatively speaking, quite brief lives even if we live to be a centenarian (not to be confused with a centurion). David acknowledges this in his psalm. We do well to recognize the brevity of life in order to remind ourselves of the urgency of living all of the time that we do have to the glory of God. As the old spiritual declares, "this world is not my home; [we're] just a passing thru." Even still, in this world, as we pass through, we should leave a mark by living our everyday, ordinary lives for Christ.
Need for Repentance:
John the baptizer declared to anyone who would listen, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." Those words prepared the way for Jesus and His ministry as well as the hearts of the hearers. Repentance, the turning away from our sin, is an intentional act by which a person acknowledges his sin and commits to leaving it.
The people John baptized opened their hearts and confessed their sins. They knew they had chosen the less-than-good rather than God's best. So, they committed to change.
On Ash Wednesday, we pause to remember our need to do the same.
Whether you receive an ash cross on your forehead or not, take time tomorrow to think about the importance of repentance and living life well.