ASH WEDNESDAY – Ashes come from crosses

The first of a selection of items by myself and Marjorie Dobson for Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week and Easter to appear regularly over the coming weeks.

 Ashes come from crosses
  
 Ashes come from crosses, 
 symbolically palm-leafed 
 for joyful jubilation, 
 yet shaped 
 for betrayal and condemnation.
 Crosses carried last Lent 
 as emblems of enlightenment 
 and hand-held holiness, 
 now tired and tainted 
 by a year of faults
 and failing to follow 
 the sacrificial example 
 set by the crucified Christ.
  
 So ashes of symbols 
 become badges of repentance 
 to be warily worn, 
 not as a display of duty 
 to be proudly presented 
 as an outward sign 
 of hollow holiness, 
 but as a reminder of those times 
 when our hopes turn to ashes, 
 as our welcoming 
 of Christ’s kingdom 
 is overwhelmed 
 by the opinions of the crowd 
 and easily influenced 
 into denial and defeat.

 © Marjorie Dobson