Remember You are Dust – Ash Wednesday
We begin Lent with Ash Wednesday – when our foreheads will be marked with the sign of the cross and the pastor will speak the familiar words, “Remember you are dust – and to dust you shall return.”
These words are a potent reminder of mortality. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust – are the words spoken at the grave. Ash Wednesday reminds us that our time on earth is finite and that we should live our lives knowing that we only have so much time to do the right thing and to seek forgiveness for what we have done wrong.
But there is also something else.
I remember once learning that most of the dust in our homes is made of two things – skin cells and star dust. I don’t know if that’s true, but I like the image: that dust is made of us and the stars, that we are part of each other, and that no matter how lowly we may seem there is promise of more.
According to Genesis, from the dust of the earth God makes all of life. If God can do that with dust, what might God do with us?
When we confess our sins, when we seek forgiveness, when we pledge to amend our ways and walk in newness of life, what might be possible for us? New life, renewed life, eternal life?
Jan Anderson writes in her poem Blessing the Dust:
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 word is made
and the stars that blaze in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral inside the smudge we bear
Come and see what God can do with the dust that is you. Join us for Ash Wednesday services February 14th at 12:15 and 7PM. All are welcome.
What to expect on Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday services at both 12:15 and 7PM will be solemn services including both the Imposition of Ashes (the opportunity to have ashes put on your forehead in the shape of the cross) and Holy Communion.
All are welcome to participate in both or either part of the service.
There will be a time for confession and forgiveness, a sermon, and music. While the services are serious, children and teens are welcome and encouraged to attend. The will be nursery care available at the 7PM service for children under 6.
If you would like to know more about the services at Redeemer, please call the church office – 630-323-5530.