Ash Wednesday service marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a 40-day period when as Christians we focus on repentance, turning our lives around, doing a 180 to face God. We are reminded that we are dust and to dust we shall return. This isn’t the kind of service like Christmas Eve, where we expect to see more than 100 people in attendance. Most of us don’t want to admit we sin and we don’t like to think about our mortality.
Let’s face it. Most of us see dust as a nuisance that needs to be removed from all the things we have accumulated – the furniture, the ceiling fan and the knick knacks. But God sees us, the dust God has transformed into living, breathing humans. “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the
ground. God breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils and the man became a living person. Genesis 2:7.
Someday we will return to dust and complete the circle of life. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes. From dust we have come to dust we will return. This isn’t something we like to talk about.
As we approach Lent and Easter let’s think about life – that period between birth and death. What or who gives our life meaning? Do we find meaning in each new day? When we reflect on the day at bedtime, where did we find joy, experience hope, grace, struggle or challenge? Life is made up of many seconds, hours, days, mouths, years, time filled with the mundane and routine and the extraordinary.
How do we live each day as a celebration of life, even when we’re doing the dishes, cleaning, waiting for the traffic light to turn?
Jesus showed us how to live fully and abundantly. Don’t be anxious. Consider the wildflowers and the birds of the air. Love your enemies. Treat others as you want to be treated. Share what you have. Forgive. Believe. Jesus knew he would die. So do we. None of us can escape death, but we live in Christ’s promise of eternal life.
In the time given to each of us, let us make a difference. Let us live each day fully and intentionally, praising God.
May we remember we are God’s beloved dust.