Today is Ash Wednesday. I did not grow up with the celebration of Lent and I have come into contact with Ash Wednesday services only in the last few years. So, as I have to lead an Ash Wednesday service tonight I don't have a deeply ingrained understanding of its meaning. I don't have a sense of history in the occasion (as I might have with Christmas or Easter). I don't really have a Biblical understanding of Ash Wednesday - or even of Lent really.
Is that a confession? Part of me resists being drawn back into the rituals of Roman Catholicism. Part of me understands that the return for some of us to the rituals adds a novelty that allows us to see beyond the repetition to the meaning.
So I have been wrestling with the question, "Why are we actually going to church tonight?" and I hope that I will have a good answer for the congregation!