At an Ash Wednesday service, we are reminded that mankind is “dust,” and our mortality exists because sin has side-tracked the intention of God that death would not be a part of life. “You are dust and to dust you will return.”
Is this such a bad thing to embrace? First, it is reality. No amount of organic food, exercise, or medicine will change the fact that every person will age and die. We all return to dust. But ashes and dust are not bad. They are a promise.
From the dust of the ground God formed Adam and breathed the breath of life into him. From the ground the seed that fell and died sprouts back to life and produces food. The Lenten season marks that time when the earth in northern latitudes emerges from the dark of winter and even the ground begins to spring forth life.
From a tomb hewn in the dust of rock Jesus emerged alive. I wonder if you can hear “You are dust and to dust you will return” to mean more than mortality? Certainly it means that. Do you also hear the promise? “From the ashes you will rise.”
It is the power of God to restore what was lost, heal what is injured, strengthen what is weak, and raise to life the person of God who has died.
” For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
I invite you to observe a Holy Lent. Come with us.