Do you love or hate the Alarm Clock? It has many shapes and sizes now – from the old traditional clock to maybe clock radios, iPod Docking Stations, mobile phones – whatever form it takes, its role is the same, to call us from sleep and to face a new day. Quite often and, I suspect for many, it’s not the favourite sound of the day. “Snooze” buttons give a bit of grace and another few minutes seems to make all the difference. 7.03 isn’t a good time to get up so I’ll wait for 7.05 or better again, 7.10 (now that’s a round and even looking number) …..
Ash Wednesday is a sort of Spiritual Alarm Clock, calling us to wake up to a new “day” – a new reality that is the need to look at our lives and put some order where they may well be disorder, harmony where disharmony may have developed and Faith where maybe its absence has been noticed. We can be inclined towards the snooze button as well. “Wednesday isn’t a good day to start something – I’ll wait til Sunday or maybe Monday or ……..”
The alarm bell that sounds on Wednesday next acknowledges where we’ve been and calls us to where we might be or ought to be. It’s an encouraging tone that seeks to literally mark all that follows – not just for Lent 2012 but for the rest of our lives. It’s not so much a call to “give up” things as to “take up” and make the occasional sacrifice for our own sake and the sake of others. The darkness of the Ash Wednesday Cross on forehead prepares for the lighting of a darkened church at the Easter Vigil when flame will pass to flame until the church and our Faith is fully alive and bright.
So – will you set the clock, hear the sound, throw back the covers and get up and into Lent 2012? The day for snooze button is put on hold – the time for sacrifice has arrived. Along the way, we will pray together and make full use of this Sacred Season of Lent.