I’m a Baptist, and we’re really no good at Ash Wednesday, although we need it as much as anyone else. When I was the pastor of a local church, we ended up joining with the Lutherans and Episcopalians for Ash Wednesday. I figured we might as well do it with the people who really know how.
I always find Ash Wednesday services profoundly moving. The Book of Common Prayer says, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” These words are a good reminder for leaders that the efforts, the plans, the programs and even the buildings that we invest so much energy in are temporary. We hope and pray that some of the work that we do will last beyond us, even into eternity. But when we remember our own mortality and our human limitations, we can keep our work in perspective. It’s not about us, anyway.