Ashes to Fire is a Wesleyan embrace of the seasons of Lent and Eastertide, concluding with Pentecost Sunday.
While nearly every church group celebrates the Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter, with perhaps a passing acknowledgment of Pentecost, not all of them place equal emphasis on the observance of Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.
Nevertheless, for those who track theologically with John Wesley’s doctrine of sanctifying grace, this period in the church calendar offers the believer the thoughtful opportunity to reflect on the privilege of being set free from sin and growing in Christlikeness.
Ashes to Fire is 14 weeks of prayerful, daily immersion in the Word of God, devotional journaling, group conversation, and both personal and corporate worship.
By joining with the universal Church in this prayerful walk with Jesus to the cross, the believer participates in a faith journey that leads them through the Lenten season of penitence to the season of Easter praise and on to the promise of the power and purity of Pentecost.
And, because Ash Wednesday inaugurates the season of Lent, Ashes to Fire starts with the experience of intentional and intensive fellowship with Jesus on that special day in the Christian calendar.
Nazarenes believe that the conscious decision to follow Jesus is extremely important, but that initial decision is not the end of the road. The ultimate goal of Ashes to Fire is to encourage believers to pray constantly for a “lowly, contrite heart, believing, true and clean” (Charles Wesley).
Such a prayer is in the true spirit of Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season. And it is just such a heart that makes the Spirit’s purifying fullness such a grand possibility.
The new Ashes to Fire Year B, published by Beacon Hill Press of Nazarene Publishing House, released Friday, October 28. Information about the resource and samples are available for download at AshestoFire.com.
Hundreds of churches purchased the previous version of Ashes to Fire Church Planning Kit, and its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AshesToFire, united more than 2,000 Nazarenes participating in the journey.
–Beacon Hill Press