dust to dust
It’s one of my favorite worship services in the Christian calendar.
In a world that is drawn, like moths to the flame, to new and shiny things. In a world that glamorizes youthfulness -- easily encouraged to buy products by the billions to recapture a glimpse of days gone by. In a desperately dry world, where elderly folks tend to desire nothing more than a conversation with a caring friend to replenish their souls. In a world of constant upgrades. Of bigger. Of better. Of more.
In our pursuit of everything that promises life, Ash Wednesday sits at the beginning of our journey towards Easter. Ash Wednesday is real and raw. Like communion, it’s tangible and tactile. You feel the ashes being imposed on your forehead in cruciform. You hear the words, “From dust you came, to dust you shall return. Repent and believe the gospel.”
Rarely do we get an opportunity to reflect on our mortality. It’s not always easy or enjoyable. But it is true and right and good to reflect. And in light of that reflection to repent of the clutter of our vain pursuits, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that won’t make sense in light of eternity. Ash Wednesday is an opportunity to reset. To declutter. To simplify. Marie Kondo would approve.
And then to believe the good news. That death is not the end. There is hope in resurrection. In the words of John Donne, the English poet, “One short sleep past, we wake eternally And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.”
Hope to see you tonight at 6:30pm for our Ash Wednesday worship service. Maybe it will become one of your favorite worship services too.