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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

From Certitude to Wonder

There is a human propensity to turn wonder into certitude…we are so insistent, and good, at turning wonder into certitude that we don’t even realize we are doing it. Behind everything, even things like kindness, compassion, gratitude, and generosity there has to be a motive and a meaning.
Transfiguration is the threshold into Lent, which is traditionally a season of contemplation, examination, and penitence for Christians. The meta-story for Lent is Jesus in the wilderness for forty days.  Lent is a time to turn away from the comfort and familiarity of certitude and enter the discomfort and strangeness of wonder.

If Transfiguration is the threshold into Lent, then Ash Wednesday, which many Christians observe today, is the front lobby, the foyer, the entryway.  It is the room where we take off our coats of certitude and scarves of security becoming vulnerable to our own stories and beliefs, in order to hear, see and feel our own lives, through different words, images, and practices, opening ourselves to the transformative, transfigurative power of God’s wonderful, mysterious Presence.
For those in the DC area looking for an opportunity observe Ash Wednesday in a non-traditional way:
"Stardust to Ashes”
a Contemplative, Interactive
Ash Wednesday Liturgy
Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church

You are invited to participate in a very different, non-traditional Ash Wednesday observance. This is a self-paced contemplative liturgy that can be started anytime between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. where people go from station to station on a guided pilgrimage exploring the miracle of creation and the frailty of life through poetry, scientific discovery, scripture, music and images. Along the way, there is the freedom to sit in the pews at any time to pray or meditate.

At the end of the pilgrimage all are invited to receive ashes on the forehead as a reminder and symbol of our mortality within the mystery of immortality.

1 comment:

  1. Andy,
    I like the "coats of certitude" and "scarves of security" image. Is this self-paced liturgy for Ash Wednesday of your own devising? Sounds interesting.