ASH WEDNESDAY March 1, 2017
Suggested reading from the Daily Lectionary, Presbyterian Church (USA): Jonah 3: 1-4:11; Hebrews 12: 1-14; Luke 18:9-14
Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return. (Genesis 3: 19)
I remember visiting a country cemetery a few years ago, near the first church that I served. In the midst of that cemetery stood a weather-worn obelisk marker. On my most recent visit, some 30 years after the first visit, I saw that the weather and nature completely erased any lettering. It was a sobering moment. And so it shall be with all monuments made with human hands. Despite our best efforts and money, everything is temporary.
Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.
A part of the funeral liturgy used at the graveside says, We know that if this tabernacle were dissolved that we have a home, not made with human hands, eternal in the heavens. (II Corinthians 5:1)
Our journey into Lent begins with the acknowledgement of the reality that life is both frail and brief. We received ashes to remind us of this. Every day is precious. Every person is precious; yours, mine and theirs.
Lord God, help me to remember that I am the creature and You are the Creator. Open my eyes so that may recognize my commonality with others. Allow me to walk through today with eyes open to the wonder of both the eternal and the temporal. Allow me to be a blessing to others. Grant that today, I may glorify you with my thoughts, labor and acts. Amen.