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The Holiday in Roots Season

In the SYNC annual cycle, holidays all fit into the big picture of the biblical story, and they follow the Genesis to Revelation sequence from January through December. This makes all our current celebrations more meaningful, and, even more importantly, it gives us some great reasons for additional annual parties.

SYNC calls us to at least one annual party for each season--Life, Roots, Freedom, etc. Some seasons include more than one holiday event, giving us multiple opportunities. 

Each SYNC holiday party is a celebration of the biblical event that gives us that seasonal gift. For example, on the New Year's Day holiday, we celebrate the event of God's creation of the world, which gives us life. 

SYNC holidays use the traditional Christian, Jewish, or secular name for the holiday and they often are tied to its traditional meaning. The few exceptions will become obvious as we go through the year. 

Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2024

As with Epiphany on January 6th, the SYNC interpretation of Ash Wednesday is totally different than the traditional Christian one. Instead of it being a day of penitence introducing Lent (40 days of austerity and self-denial), Ash Wednesday is a celebration of God's promises to Abraham and Abraham's trust in God. 


In the SYNC interpretation, the ash of Ash Wednesday is the ash of the sacrifice by Abraham on Mount Moriah. The point is that there was no bone of Isaac in that ash. It was all ram's bone.

In strict obedience to a direct personal command of God, Abraham was about to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice when God stopped him and told him to sacrifice a ram instead. God provided the ram, which was caught by its horns in a thicket nearby. 


So the ash from that sacrifice is a blazing symbol of the truth of Roots Season--against all odds, God can still be trusted to come through and make his plan work in his way. Isaac lived, and through him God later kept his promise to create a nation that would bless all families of the earth.

Ash Wednesday sets the tone for the whole Roots Season, but it is not the somber tone of Lent in the traditional church year. The somber time in the annual cycle of SYNC is during Worth Season (Oct-Nov). By contrast, Roots Season is a time of joy because of the story of Isaac and the ram. We who are "in Christ" today get to be included in God's "connect-heal-bless" campaign team as spiritual descendants of Abraham and Isaac. 


What a heritage! What a team! What a family! How can we let Ash Wednesday go by without celebrating all this?


We are part of an ancient campaign plan, God's plan, for a better world. We are participants in a 4000-year-old team to work the current phase of the plan, customized for the challenges of our own era.


The plan is to bring good peacefully to everybody, not just to those who are like us or agree with us. We want to bless even those who mistakenly feel we are trying to force something onto them. We are not forcing anything. If we did, we would be going against God's strategy, cutting ourselves off from our roots in God's promise to Abraham.

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