Select Page

I want us to consider how counter-cultural our liturgy is on Ash Wednesday.  Our culture loves to celebrate fools who do not turn to God from their ungrateful and impenitent lifestyles — primarily fools who are rich celebrities.  Even if you did not watch the Oscars on Sunday you know this to be true.  The Oscars are a good example of our cultural liturgy.  They are purposely held on the Lord’s Day, with a liturgy involving the red carpet and glamorous dresses and awards presentations.  But just try to imagine how awkward it would be to confess with your lips your sins against God and repent in dust and ashes with genuine sorrow for those sins at the Oscars.  These are contrasting worship liturgies that encourage different lifestyles in response to their different messages of ‘good news.’  So what are we trying to do with the liturgy on Ash Wednesday and what happens when that liturgy is not so deeply ingrained in our lives that we sin and cannot see it and repent of it?  Proverbs 26:1-12 shows us what can happen when this liturgy that is our self-defense fails to lead us to genuine repentance and how we can help others in such a situation.