Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

March 9, 2011

I came home tonight from a really very beautiful Ash Wednesday liturgy. As I glanced at myself in the mirror, I saw the black ashen cross on my forehead and suddenly remembered my father and all those Ash Wednesdays when he would come home from his little Lutheran Church with that same black cross on his forehead.

And here, six months after his death (six months on the 14th), his body truly is ashes. He is dust and it was to dust that he returned. And that sober reality hit me with the weight of truck.

This is what Ash Wednesday is all about after all. It is about realizing that we are mortal. But it is also about realizing that everyone we love is a mortal as well. Every one we love and care for will one day return to dust.

The only mainstay, the one steady reality we have is Christ. He is not dust. He is not ashes. His is a resurrected body that we have been promised we will one day inherit as well. These bodies that will one day turn to ashes and be buried, will one day rise from those ashes into a glory we, at this moment, can only just barely even imagine.

Staring at that cross on my forehead, thinking of my father who is now ashes, I find a certain comfort in the fact that dust and ashes are not eternity. I find joy in the fact that he and I and all of us will one day rise above the dust into which each of us will one day go. And that even dirt and ashes can be a conduit through which we catch a glimpse of that forthcoming glory.

1 comment:

Episcopal Evangelism said...

Very nice words.. needed to read them today! Thanks :)