Amidst the Season: Ash Wednesday and Lent

How is Lent connected to the cross of Christ? Source: Shelbi Fisher.

Greenville University has proven to include all kinds of Christian faith-related traditions and observations in morning chapel and individual small groups. The Ash Wednesday chapel service was held in GU’s Whitlock Music Center last Wednesday and observed the start of the Lent season through a time of prayer, community, singing, devotion, and the ash cross placed on an individual’s forehead.

I felt called to attend the Ash Wednesday chapel even though I knew nothing about the importance or significance of the day. I was interested in getting to know the meaning of the ash cross and how Lent works. After some self-reflection, I picked out a few key things I needed to give up this season (and all seasons apart from Lent) in order to become closer to God. This can be different for each person. The ultimate goal of Ash Wednesday is to start Lent off right by recognizing how Christ died and was resurrected on Easter. I am happy that I chose to wear the ash cross on my forehead on this day because I think it was a great reminder of how “I was made from dust, and to dust, I shall return” as Genesis 3:19 says.

Giving up social media, meat, and television.

How is your Lent currently going? A few things that people of faith give up during Lent include but are not limited to: social media, certain types of food (different branches of Christianity have a different set of recommendations) and constant phone time. This year, the New York Post told us that giving up plastic for the sake of the earth is on the rise. I am super excited about this trend because we need to do as much as we can to preserve the earth. Each of us can make a difference, and giving up something like plastic allows us to think of what was here before we ever were: the earth.

I asked Jasmine Webber, a junior at GU this year, more about the meaning behind Ash Wednesday in chapel. She helped me understand that “It’s like how we go about Advent. Ash Wednesday starts Lent, which leads us up to and helps us prepare for Easter. Advent is similar, but it leads us up to Christmas. In both events, we set our hearts on Christ.”

Whitlock Music Center: Where chapels are held.
Source: Shelbi Fisher

As I go to GU, I see the ways that we try to include all the important celebratory events included on a typical Christian calendar. Through chapel, we bring events to life that teach us the significance of fasting from many things (not only food but anything we need to take a break from or permanently get rid of) and how it’s not a bad thing when heads turn to see the ashes on our forehead. It helps me step out of my comfort zone and embrace the momentary discomfort I need to ultimately become closer to God. This particular season shouldn’t be the only time I give up something I don’t need, but it definitely smacks me on the head and makes me think about what I need to do. I hope this encourages you to do the same.


  1. Lent season is likened by many what men can do. It is far better to talk about what Jesus did do.

    When Moses disobeyed the LORD by hitting the high cliff rock with his own rod twice to make the LORD look bad in front of children of Israel. The LORD told them Aaron and Moses will die and not go in the promised land. (Numbers 20). He later plead with the LORD to let him in. “I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.” (Deuteronomy 3:25) But the LORD said no. Well, well, well when Moses mentioned the goodly mountain in Lebanon it was a mystery.

    1500 years later, when Jesus went up to the goodly mountain in Lebanon with His three disciples, He spent His time with Moses and Elijah and they talked about His ” departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” And then He went on to His glory. It is His lent season, not yours as the high and low church made you believe. Moses already knew his appointment long long time ago because He already told him. Do you know He love you that much to plan all this 3500 years before you were born?


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