Today (March 5, 2014) is Ash Wednesday. Every year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of a holy season of prayerful and penitential reflection that leads up to Easter. This season is referred to as Lent and is observed by Catholics and many Protestant denominations, such as Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists.
The season of Lent has been regarded for centuries as “a time of special devotion, self-denial, and humble repentance born of a faithful heart that dwells confidently on His Word and draws from it life and hope.”
On Ash Wednesday, as a symbol of penitence, ashes are placed on the forehead. This “imposition of ashes” is a reminder of our mortality and our need for a Savior (Jesus Christ). …”We are dust and to dust we shall return.”
May God bless this season of Lent (Lententide) … the sober season before the Hallelujahs ring.
 Address from the 2014 Ash Wednesday Divine Service, Our Savior Lutheran Church (Raleigh, NC)
 Genesis 3:19