Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down. Ashes on your forehead can begin a reorientation of your heart.
BY DAVID RICKEY — In the Judeo-Christian tradition, ashes are a symbol of penitence and mortality. In the Old Testament, Job sits in ashes both because he has lost his children and all his livestock and because he is suffering severly from boils, apparently with God’s approval.
The demonstration of penitence was also intended to persuade God not to punish a people or an individual. In the story of Jonah, the people of Ninevah put on sackcloth and sit in ashes to demonstrate penitence in the hope that God will have a change of mind and not destroy the city.
This Ash Wednesday millions of Christians will participate in a ritual that involves having ashes put on their foreheads to symbolize their attitude of penitence and their intention to repent.Read more