This week Christians all over the world celebrated Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 day period in which we observe Jesus’ time in the desert.

Christians commemorate this time in preparation for Easter by fasting or additional spiritual practices.

In The Ashes and The Phoenix, a book of meditations published by the Episcopal ministry Forward Day By Day, I found the following lines of a poem for reflection on Ash Wednesday:

May I be thankful

That I await not just

The ashes

But the Phoenix.

On Ash Wednesday Christians receive ashes in the shape of a cross on their foreheads.

These ashes are symbolic of the beginning and ending of life.

The reference to the mythological bird, the Phoenix, is literary in nature.

The Phoenix self destructs and rises from its own ashes every 100 years.

Awaiting the rise of the Phoenix is paramount to waiting for the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.

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