Ash Wednesday-our journey begins.

Upward Joy

Today begins the journey of Lent. We begin with being marked with a mixing of oil and ashes. There is a symbolic depth in those two things that deserves its own study, but I will briefly cover it here. The anointing of oil has always symbolized God’s calling out someone for a specific reason, like anointing the kings of Israel.   In the New Testament oil always symbolizes the pouring out of the Holy Spirit onto God’s children.  Either way being anointed was a joyful moment. In the Psalms David says, “You anoint my head with gladness”. Even in Isaiah, he prophesied there would be a time the Israelites’ mourning would be anointed with the oil of joy. Likewise the ashes were always a sign of repentance. Even the ashes of the sacrifices of Israel were handled with care.  Ashes were put on the body as a sign of a repentant…

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