To Dust We Shall Return
Dear Evergreen family,
I just googled “fun facts about Ash Wednesday.” Apparently, there are none. Yes, the search will give you a few matches, but the facts they offer are not that fun. This makes perfect sense. There is nothing fun about Ash Wednesday. It’s not supposed to be fun.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of the season of Lent. Lent is a season of somber, sober self-reflection leading up to Easter. Lent invites us to confess our sins, realize our own frailty and mortality, and trust our lives and the lives of all people to the God who breathes life into human dust (Genesis 2).
This is why we put dust on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday. We remember that “we are dust, and to dust we shall return.” No, not fun at all. “What a downer,” we might say.
Ash Wednesday may not be fun, but it’s no downer. Here’s why. When we see the truth---that we are fragile, fallible creatures---then we can be freed from our illusions and find the freedom of abundant life that God offers us. Jesus told us, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25). Jesus points the way. Backward leads us forward. Down points the way up. Death leads to resurrection. So, Ash Wednesday may come across as a downer, but only in seeing the truth of who we are can we see the wonders God wants to give us. Praise be to God!
Next Wednesday, we’ll share an Ash Wednesday devotion by Zoom at 7:00 p.m. Click on this link to join: https://zoom.us/j/96968638261. The passcode is 018611 and the meeting ID is 969 6863 8261. We’ll share the liturgy, and you’ll be able to make the mark of ashes at home. Envelopes containing ashes and a Lenten devotional are available for pick-up this Sunday at the 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. services.
May God bless us all.
Your Fellow Minister in Christ,
Also, don’t forget to join me tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. for the first session of our book study on Rescued by John Riccardo. Here’s the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/97321153338. The passcode is 474670, and the meeting ID is 973 2115 3338.