I have known the people of Gloria Dei for over nine years now. The folks of First English for nearly five. My own wife and son will be amongst the worshipers.
I will mark people I love with a sign of death and destruction.
A few of these dear people I may soon be standing by their bed leading their family and friends in a liturgy of "Commendation of the Dying." I may very soon be officiating at their funerals and standing by their graves fighting with my emotions that I may be the calm, sure voice that the living need at that moment.
Ash Wednesday is a somber, sobering day. A day that reminds us of our sinfulness before the living God, but also our mortality. We are reminded that our salvation lies outside our hands and that we are completely dependent upon the mercy of God.
May God's mercy strengthen us as we begin the Lenten disciplines.