From Full to Empty in 40 Days or 12 Hours

Ash Wednesday, 2016 February 10dust-cross-still

This holy day was full, really full. From early morning beginning at our local Panera Bread offering prayer and ashes for folks to begin a holy Lent, to organizing and leading a couple dozen college students in mission preparing Blessings in a Backpack bags for a couple hundred elementary and middle school students twelve hours later, this day was full. Every imposition of ashes across the community and in worship at Central Christian Church, was an intimate, spiritually filled moment. And, Lent is about emptying ourselves, right?

who though he was in the form of God…emptied himself          Philippians 2:6-7

Well empty is how I am feeling now as I write these reflections, but its not the emptiness of defeat or loss. I began this day full of expectation, hope, anxiousness, and energy. More than a dozen meaningful conversations later (which I call prayers even though there were no “Dear Lords” or “Amens”) with folks who were full themselves with grief, discernment, witness, worry, life, etc. and now I am empty.

ashes2016

Listening, offering encouragement, holding on in grace, bringing peace and now I am empty. More than two hundred fifty lives touched through the ministries of the day and now I am empty. And empty never felt so good.

I am ready to begin this wilderness journey with Jesus. I am ready to move from full to empty in 40 days. I am ready to have a holy Lent. And, I pray you are too.