Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. A day of repentance. It also happened to be a day when our church after-school program happened. So our pastor took the group (people of all ages) through the Ten Commandments, using questions from his Pastoral Care Companion.
It’s easy to hear the commandments and think I’m in pretty good shape.
“You shall not murder.” Check. Never even held a gun. I’m good. Except… do I lose my temper? hold grudges? ignore the helpless? even know about ways I could help?
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Check. Haven’t seen the inside of a courtroom since that field trip five years ago. No testimony here. I’m good. Except… do I gossip? explain other people’s actions in the best possible way? stay silent when other people are mistreated?
While these questions were being considered, we wrote sins on a large cross outlined on white paper. (A couple of adults did the writing, but it could be done in a family setting by each person on a smaller sheet of paper.)
We went from there to receive ashes on our foreheads. Let me tell you, to be reminded of my baptism in such a physical way… after seeing my brokenness in such a physical way… is beautiful. To hear that Jesus died and rose… and completely took care of all my failure… there’s nothing sweeter.
It is finished!
I’d love to hear how you teach and guide your children through repentance and forgiveness… if you have a special way of marking the time of Lent, please share!