Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Something You Should Know About Ash Wednesday

By: David Ngwaba


Ash Wednesday usually ushers in the lent season. Lent begins today and is observed for 40 days before the Easter celebrations. As a kid my impression about ash Wednesday was that it was a day when every one should be covered in ash. In northern Nigeria where i grew up, ash Wednesday generally occurred in the dry season, so generally most of my play mates looked ash from dirt, unwittingly collaborating my theory. 

I grew up in a Pentecostal background, so you may understand my misconceptions about ash Wednesday's, and the lent season which as a kid i assumed was a period of lenty sunny days. You may not find me in church by 6: Am on an ash Wednesday waiting to have the sign of the cross engraved on my forehead by the priest, marking the commencement of the lent season. But neither do i disapprove of fasting for forty days and forty nights in the lent season. I also do not disprove of  ash Wednesdays, i simply regard it as a religious expression and the observation of the lent season, i regard lent as an essential time to re dedicate to God. The timing itself is uncanny. At the beginning of the year - What better time to spend time at lent with God?

For Nigeria and indeed Africa, Christians observing the lent season should use this time as an opportunity to invoke Gods presence into the affairs of this country. Nigeria has now more than ever been through the most trying time of its  young socio-cultural cum political  history. At this point, it is only God that can take us to the next level.

The situation is no less grave in the international scene at a time when all we here is news of wars and rumors of wars, famine, plagues, natural disasters, etc, kind of reminds you of the biblical prophecy of the signs of the end times.

The end is near and we don't even know it.... kind of what comes to mind when you consider the manner in which humanity is going about its existence. Celebrities leading the way in public nudity, immorality and violence. Incest becoming common news, greed on the increase, so also betrayals and hatred among siblings. 

Surely there are so much more reasons why these years ash Wednesday should be observed with gravity, likewise the lent season. 

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