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02-28-17
Ash Wednesday

Dear friends in Christ,

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

With those words and a smudge of ashes we begin our Lenten journey each year.

They call us to remember:

The futility of life without God
The fragility of our very existence
The fleeting nature of every thing “of this world” in which we take pleasure.

T.S. Eliot put well this aspect of Christian remembrance in his poem, “Ash Wednesday.” It was the first major poem he crafted after his conversion to Anglicanism:

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

But the Gospel to this word of Law is that there is a greater remembering even as the smudge is made and the words of judgment are spoken.

While we, as with everything in this broken world, return to dust and ash, we have courage to remember this (and not to attempt to ignore it) because of the story toward which Lent marches and toward the promised end for all those who believe: Christ risen, and us risen in him.

Pax,
Pastor Tom

Bible Basics