It’s That Time Again

(Ash Wednesday, Year C; click here for the biblical texts)

It was just Christmas and Epiphany
seems almost a race to Easter but now
it’s that time again to fast pray
celebrate ashes dust to dust
give something up maybe
or just pray and prepare
to receive new life forty days
hence and beyond and even now
opening ourselves to quiet contemplation
giving away what we no longer need
turning around away from sin
what keeps us distant from God each other
confessing the hurt we do our neighbors
the hungry ones we do not feed
hands out on busy street corners
shivering ones we do not clothe
huddled outside train bus stations
the shackles we do not remove
still more Black men in jail
and then to call on God
to be reconciled heart to heart
life to life with God and all God’s people
to enter God’s courts with praise thanksgiving
even joy, no sackcloth no groveling
but honest truth-telling
not for show but for soulful health
restored inside out to give more
of ourselves sharing all God gives us
trusting the Holy One to provide more,
accounting for all our blessings
as we yield more storing up less
rending our hearts not our clothing
living a holy sacrificial blessed Lent
to the glory of The One who is all in all.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

©Robin Gorsline2016
Please use the credit line above when publishing this poem in any form

writing+poetryAbout this poem . . .Lent of my youth was such a somber affair, laden with guilt, and I am sure wearing the ashen cross on my head was a sign for others to know how good, perhaps even superior, I was. But we can see Lent another way, as a time for introspection not show, as a time to truly change directions from the inside out. May the Lent deep inside you find expression this year!


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