Dear people of God:
I have had fun lately saying to folks, "Ash Wednesday is February 14; oh, it's some other holiday as well." I've been married for 27 years; I know perfectly well what other holiday it is!
Our Ash Wednesday service will be on February 14 at 7:00 pm. I thought about having it during the day in order to keep the evening free for people, but the need to set the time came up before I could confer with folks; so it's at 7:00 pm. As usual, there will be a nice supper in the Fellowship Hall beforehand.
But this I did decide: to ignore the Scripture texts we normally use on Ash Wednesday and go with this one instead:
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
For love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.
(Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
A major theme of Ash Wednesday is always mortality, but this year on a Valentine's Day Ash Wednesday I want to highlight the power of love in the light of mortality. I hope that you will worship with your church on that important day.