LETTING GO OF OLD LIFE TO MAKE ROOM FOR NEW LIFE
In Canada I learned that farmers occasionally set fire to the fields. That may seem a destructive act, but farmers know it is a way to renew the fields. The ashes of last season mix into the soil and in time produce a richer, more abundant medium for new life. If this is not done, the soil gets weaker until it cannot nourish much more than weeds. The ashes at the beginning of Lent serve as a reminder that we all need to periodically burn the remnants of past mistakes and sins, reducing them to ashes so we can build a stronger foundation for our spiritual life. It means letting go of hurts, anger, grudges, regrets. God forgive us our shortcomings and we would be arrogant not to do the same. We ask for forgiveness and move on to identify what might enrich our soil. In Lent we can think about what we need to add to our prayer life and community life to help us turn toward the Son rather than away. We can be fertile like the soil and support the growth of new spiritual life within us.
— Kevin Cross, Rector, Holy Trinity, Oxford, Maryland