For me, the joy, yes, surprising joy of Ash Wednesday at Zion Lutheran in Pittsfield, MA. Surprising because joy is not a characteristic I have often associated with Ash Wednesday. But there it was, right before my eyes. Jazz music, really fine jazz music. An ecumenical gathering of baptists, lutherans, methodists and congregational christians, oh my. Splendid, splendid.
But also joy on Ash Wednesday as a public witness around the New England synod as pastor and people offered ashes on streets & train platforms in New Haven, Panera bread in Rhode Island, Homeless Shelters in Springfield, Union Station in Worcester, street corners in Vermont and in college cafeterias.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
This is it taking the ministry of Jesus public, not just hanging out in our offices and posting on Facebook, but engaged in the life of people. Beautiful. Just Joy! I know not a traditional lenten emotion, but hey, joy at the good news being extended in so many ways and in so many places.
How can we take Palm Sunday or Good Friday public?