Ash Wednesday Observed

Today begins the Christian season of Lent

By: WVUA23 Student Reporter Chaney Scott

Today is Ash Wednesday, starting the season of Lent.

Millions of Christians around the world will give up something during the next 40 days in order to become more dependent on God. Common fasts include social media, caffeine, television, or gossip.

Clinton Hubbard, Jr. is the senior pastor at Tuscaloosa’s First United Methodist Church. Hubbard said, “A lot of people give up stuff for Lent so that they can draw closer to God. One of the things I have been doing for Lent is taking on something I wouldn’t normally do so it can become a habit beyond Lent so here’s another discipline, a way of helping people that I can do.”

Church services will be held throughout the day for believers’ foreheads to be marked with ashes making the sign of the cross. The ashes are made from the burned palms from Palm Sunday. The marking serves as a reminder of Genesis 3:19, “…For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” 

Lent is a time of spiritual preparation before Easter, which will fall on April 9. Helping the needy, praying, reading the Bible and self-examination are all important aspects of Lent.

Shannon Templeton has been an involved member of First United Methodist Church since 1980. Templeton said Lent has taught her valuable lessons about what it means to be a disciple.

“In Lent, I’m supposed to be understanding what Jesus went through during his 40 days in the desert when he was approached by the devil and how he responded,” Templeton said, “I have to know that in my life I will also face adversity and I need to mimic Jesus’ response to adversity. 

Yesterday, Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, was the final day of indulgence.

“A good point for me to hold onto for Ash Wednesday is that God loves me, God forgives me as I enter this process of self-examination, and getting my heart right so I can grow closer to God,” Hubbard said.

Categories: Regional and US News