Wednesday, March 1

We Are Dust!

Once I sat in church in front of a little boy who was reading along during a congregational reading as we read, "....we are dust." He stopped reading immediately, turned to his mom and said loudly with disgust, "Huh? We are dust???!!!"

Yes, it's a shocking truth isn't it? Our lives are like vapors, here today and gone tomorrow. The temporal nature of this life and of this world is something we'd rather not think about. Sooner or later, however, we're forced to face it, and we're better for it.

When the surgeon who found the cancer all through my husband's abdomen came in after the surgery to discuss things with him, he described his situation like this: "You have mortal written across your forehead a little larger than the rest of us." Those words were a gift. They didn't take away hope, but they expressed the right sense of urgency.

Ash Wednesday gives us the same sort of gift. It's a day to think about the word mortal that we all have written across our foreheads, and to consider the brevity of our lives. It's a day to face up to our sinfulness and our need for repentance.

Ash Wednesday gives us the bad news that points us to the good news. It's a day to acknowledge our sinfulness and frailty so that we can gain a better perspective on the events of Easter. Christ's death and resurrection bring forgiveness of sin and immortality to those united with him, and these are gifts we can cherish best because we remember how much we need them.

Sound familiar? That's because this is an editted version of last year's Ash Wednesday post.

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