Ash Wednesday Sacred Space for Average HouseholdsMarch 5, 2014
Begin your season of Lent as a household by creating a (portable) space that will remind you of the invitation to travel with Jesus and his followers across the ages through the intersecting stories and symbols of life and death and new life. Use a tray or platter to define the space, so it can be placed in the middle of your common table as a focus, or moved easily to one side, or another space as necessary over the whole season of Lent. This can serve as a place for leaving short written prayers, or simply one word reminders (names, places, issues) and to light tea-lights for prayers.
1) Make a collection of small bits of junk: pipecleaners, wire, plasticene, sticks, bolts and nuts, springs, hinges, buttons, the broken innards of clocks/radios/mp3s, straws, cardboard scraps, plastic scraps, fabric…
Form this into a scene of some kind from your imaginations and concerns and views of the world.
2) Use pieces of charcoal to write or draw symbols and words of Lent on a piece of sandpaper. Tear the edges of the sand paper to ‘roughen’ the boundaries. Leave some crumbled charcoal and dust clumps on the sandpaper.
3) Read the confession prayer as you construct your sacred space. Often there are one or two people in any given group who find words more helpful than tactile activity. You’ll know who those ones are. Don’t compel anyone to either read or to construct, but allow people to gravitate to the part of the task that will engage them well. The aim is not for everyone to have to do the same thing, but to do something together, in which each person has a part.)
We are made from solid stuff
We can list our molecules and decode our DNA
But we cannot make ourselves
God alone is our creator and life giver
We are easily broken,
We burn out and we crumble to ash and to dust
And we cannot save ourselves
Christ alone is our deliverer and healer
We are able to know both good and evil
We can choose between our desires
But we cannot fully resist evil or get rid of its lure
The Lord alone is the holy one who defeats death with love.
We are called to follow Jesus and walk in his steps
But only forgiven and forgivingly
Only falteringly, and only together
The Spirit alone makes us one, gives what we need and comforts our steps.