Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ashes, Water & Symbolism

As an English teacher, I'm constantly talking about symbols and authorial intent.
  • Why does that stupid raven keep quoting, "Nevermore"?
  • Why did F. Scott Fitzgerald create Dr. T.J. Eckleburg in The Great Gatsby?
  • Willa Cather, why so much description about a single plough?
Here is an insightful explanation by Rev. William Cwirla on why his church doesn't do the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday.  Read the quote and then read Rev. Cwirla's entire explanation.

"I suppose if we wanted to get the symbolism right, we would be smudging our own faces, and not just with a little stylish dab. And then you’d come and stand before me and I would stick my hand in the baptismal font and wipe away all that grime and dirt “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” And if you stop and think about it, we did precisely that earlier in the evening. You confessed your sin and death, having stared into the mirror of the Law. And then you stood before me as Christ’s called and ordained representative, and I absolved you, which means that Christ Himself wiped away the stain of your sin and death."

"He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This a trustworthy saying." -Titus 3: 5-8

Forever cleansed.  Forever saved.  Forever His. 
Amen!

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