“…for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” — Genesis 3:19
Few passages of Scripture humble us as much as this, when the LORD tells Adam and Eve that their sin has brought an inevitable consequence — the shadow of which darkens the lives of all their descendants.
Few things force us to confront our own mortality as much as a global pandemic, when an airborne virus brings that still inevitable consequence to the foreground.
Facing our own mortality may be uncomfortable, though it prepares us to fully celebrate the good news of the resurrection. This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent and the start of a season that leads to Easter. Lent is more than a time to temporarily deprive yourself of things in which you probably overindulge. It’s a season in the life of the Church that calls us to face the things we try our hardest to avoid.
Lent culminates with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Scripture tells us that the resurrection of Jesus is the promise and pledge of what will one day be true for all those who belong to him. In his death and resurrection, Jesus has taken away our sin and triumphed over the grave–and this indeed is good news of great joy. Before the celebration, however, comes confession; before the rejoicing comes repentance.
Ash Wednesday, in particular, is a time to acknowledge our need for a Savior who can cleanse us from our sin and raise us from the dead. The journey through Lent begins in a minor key, though this, too, is an important part of the Story. I invite you to join us for our Ash Wednesday service this year. In addition to an onsite and online option, we are also offering you a simple home liturgy that you can use. More information can be found below.
Lent begins with the reminder that we, like Adam, are sinners under the sentence of death–but ends with the announcement that we have a new promised identity in Christ. We are but dust, though our hope is in the Risen Lord Jesus, “who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). For “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:49).
I pray this finds you healthy and well.
Grace and peace,