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Ash Wednesday

Baptists don’t celebrate Ash Wednesday. That was the reason given to me a few years ago by a local Christian bookstore employee in explaining why they didn’t have any Ash Wednesday resources. I had stopped by the store looking for Ash Wednesday items for children – stickers, pencils and so on – and I was […] Read More

I typically don’t think much about ashes except for Ash Wednesday. Last week, I participated in a strange, ancient ritual in which I smeared some ashes in the shape of a cross on peoples’ foreheads and said something like, “Turn from your sins and follow Jesus” or “Remember you are dust and to dust you […] Read More

The season of Lent, which begins next Wednesday, comprises the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. In Lent, we take our cues from Jesus who denied himself as a spiritual exercise, denying himself of what he had in abundance in order to discover just how much he had in reserve. This is an austere […] Read More

Lent – a 40-day period prior to Easter that begins on Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar – is being observed more often in Baptist churches. Greg DeLoach, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., talks about how his church recognizes Lent, in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com. Skype Interview: Greg DeLoach […] Read More

Perhaps the term “journey” is a bit overused nowadays, but I can find few better descriptions to speak of Lent, beyond the language of passage or sojourn. Each time I step behind the pulpit, I try to remember that I am inviting the congregation to join with me in a shared pilgrimage. Part of the […] Read More

For Baptist churches following the liturgical worship calendar, Lent is a given. However, there are exponentially more pastors who, if they speak the word “Lent,” will be greeted with resistance or even an anti-Catholic rant. Our Puritan forefathers removed virtually all the symbols and liturgy of the ancient church. It took centuries for crosses and […] Read More

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” I spoke that old phrase as I smudged the sign of the cross on the forehead of the 6-year-old girl in front of me. She was the first that night at the Ash Wednesday service. Not only was she the first to come through […] Read More

Having been raised in a non-liturgical Baptist church, the liturgical worship calendar, with its seasons and emphases, was not only unobserved but also unknown. I remember learning about Hanukkah at some point in my upbringing, but I cannot recall hearing about, much less participating in, seasons of the Christian church’s worship life other than Christmas, […] Read More

Here in the 53rd year of my life and in the 36th year of my ministry I participated in an act of worship in which I had never participated before – the imposition of ashes. There were a handful of Catholic families in my hometown but I guess I never saw any of them on […] Read More

Happy are the Forgiven

A sermon delivered by Keith Herron, Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church, Kansas City, M0., on March 13, 2011. Psalm 32   When we get to the season of Lent, what we don’t expect is to hear a word of good news. So let me frontload this Lenten sermon with good news, really good news:  We come to […] Read More