Ash Wednesday: "You Are Dust"

March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday is a day in the Christian year in which we are reminded of our beginning and our end.  That no matter what we bring into this space right now, our race, our gender, our political stance, our education level, salary range, our social status, or job title does…not…make a difference.  When we were created we came from dust, and one day when the rule of life catches up to us, we will leave nothing but dust behind.  In this we are all equal.  

It’s a sobering and humbling day for Christians around the world that marks the beginning of the solemn season of Lent.  And deep down, though we all approach the ashes from different places, there is an echo within the hearts of many that sigh heavily as the message ricochets off of the brokenness in each soul saying, “…yeah…that’s right…dust.”  


“All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners

or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

Did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility

or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming what God can do within the dust, within the dirt, within the stuff of which the world is made, and the stars that blaze in our bones, and the galaxies that spiral inside the smudge we bear." - Jan L. Richardson, from Circle of Grace


A Prayer:
O God, you do marvelous works with dust.
The Adam from the adamah, you’ve given life to we who are dirt


you have assigned holy worth and meaning to each day that 
Our earthly bodies move and live filled with your spirit.
Lead us to surrender all that is dust in the wind that we cling to.
May we decrease so that you may increase.  In your death, we see our own
In your rising, we are raised to new heights we never thought possible!
Gracious Savior, lead us on through this season of humbling into a 
New season of resurrection.  Amen.

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