Joel’s Ash Wednesday Message: Let’s Do a Meeting

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
 proclaim a fast,
 call an assembly..
Joel 2:15

In the early 2000s, Sprint (now T-Mobile) had a television commercial featuring a scene where a mom was at home with her three kids who were on summer vacation, but who was supposed to be at work. She decided to bring her Sprint phone to the beach, so that while her kids were playing in the sand, she would be dialed in to the business call. While the youngsters were frolicking, her phone rings, and it’s the boss, bringing her on board. At that moment, the younger daughter yells out, “Quiet everyone! Mom’s doing a meeting!”

Joel pretty much makes the same exhortation as we consider our plan for this Lent, and the outward sign of humility we receive on Ash Wednesday.

This isn’t a task to be performed alone, in a room, with the lights off. This is a community activity. We’re recipients of the Lord’s mercy. We have much to celebrate as we weep and mourn. Our tears are tears of joy. Our Lord is slow to anger, rich in kindness and “relenting in punishment”.

Rend your hearts, not your garments,

and return to the LORD, your God.

Perform that self-examination, pull apart your heart so its humanness bears itself. Be opened to acts of gentleness. Do something selfless for another.

Call an assembly and pray together. Joy will be communal, and you and I will set forward, confident and joyful, on our path through Lent, and to celebrating the Risen Christ.

Michael Throop