Cornerstone UMC celebrates Ash Wednesday

February 16, 2013

Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent and Cornerstone United Methodist observed the beginning of the season with Ash Wednesday.

Pastor Tim Roth and his congregation at Cornerstone United Methodist Church observed Ash Wednesday in a service. The service had a message from Roth from Luke 18 on ways to observe Lent, which was accompanied by music and communion.

According to Roth, Lent is a solemn observance in the liturgical year of many Christian denominations, which lasts for a period of six weeks Leading up to Easter Sunday. During Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.

“What makes Ash Wednesday unique is the the imposition of Ashes on the forehead in the sign of a cross. Using ashes as a sign of repentance is an ancient practice often mentioned in the bible which was adopted by early Christians,” Roth said.

Roth said ashes served as a reminder of the shortness of life and God’s condemnation of sin as God says to Adam, “Dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). As the ashes are marked on the forehead in the sign of a cross.

Roth told each person to “Repent, believe the Gospel, and receive his forgiveness.”

According to Roth, the ashes which the church utilized for Ash Wednesday came from last year’s palm branches that the children waved on Palm Sunday.

“We have seen this service grown in numbers and popularity every year. There is a hunger for people to connect with God throughout Lent. Our challenge to Cornerstone folks is to read the entire Gospel of John in 40 days prior to Easter. Many are taking up the challenge and have started their daily readings,” Roth said.

Cornerstone’s journey in Lent continues this Sunday with a message from Pastor Tim on fasting titled “Not If but When we Fast.”

Portia Williams can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286, or portiawilliams@civitasmedia.com.