Slips of white paper curled and blackened as flames licked the edges. We gathered round, my three daughters and I, and watched our handwritten words fade into fire.
And then they were gone, and all that was left were a few glowing embers and a bowl full of ash.
I added a little bit of water to the ash and mixed it around with a spoon. It looked rancid. It smelled rancid. But sin is never pretty, is it?
The Bible is full of symbolic rituals. Old Testament sacrifices point to the Cross and feasts point to joy eternal. And in the New Testament, on the night that He was betrayed, Jesus reaffirmed the importance of ritual when He commanded His disciples to break bread and drink wine together in remembrance of His ultimate sacrifice.
We don’t find grace in liturgy. But we do find reminders of grace.
And we all need reminders.
This week, we’ve started to work through Jennifer Naraki’s Rich and Rooted Passover. Like her Advent guide, it’s a beautiful way to teach children about all that Jesus has done for us. I’m not sure how to put into words just how beautiful these resources are or how much depth they’re adding to our celebrations this year.
Yesterday, we wrote down unconfessed sin and reduced it to ash. And we celebrated clean hearts. Our sins are forgiven because of the Cross.
And then, crowns. Brightly-coloured construction paper crowns stapled together and decorated with fat, washable markers. It’s hardly a crown of glory and yet, to my little girls, it’s a reminder that He takes the ugliness of our sin and makes us beautiful.
A crown instead of ashes. My girls will never forget this lesson.
One day, we will wear that eternal crown of glory. Until then, we will take the time to participate in wonderful rituals that point us to grace.
*This post is not sponsored or endorsed. Every now and then, I stumble across amazing resources that draw us closer to Jesus, and I want to share those because they’re worth sharing.