Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lenten Reflections: Ash Wednesday - Humiliation

"You are dust...." - Genesis 3:19

Ashes to ashes.  Dust to dust.

As Lent begins, we're humiliated. Lent is not joyful. Lent is not a season that we greet each other with glad tidings. Lent is dark. And as Advent culminates in celebration, Lent culminates in death. Advent is intricately melded into Christmas.  Lent is broken by a week of reflection, healing and preparation for the joy that resumes at Easter.

Ashes mark our foreheads, reminding us of sin and the deteriorating nature of this world. We are dust. The world is broken. And the dust that we come from will become our humiliation when it finds us again. When our mortal bodies breath their last breath, we are humiliated one last time in dust. We are dust. We are broken.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

The ashes also remind us that the God of the universe faced humiliation as well. By becoming dust and returning to it's embrace, Jesus was dust. Jesus was humiliated. Jesus was broken. The heavenly became earthly. The immortal became mortal, if only for a brief interlude of history.

He became humiliation so that one day our dust may life forever. We will cast off the dust. We will be fixed. 

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

As we begin the Lenten Season, let us remember that our healing of humiliation comes through Christ. By His humiliation, ours was lifted. By His temporary embrace of the dust, our dust thus becomes immortal. By the donning of ashes upon our heads, let us face our humiliation with the hope of resurrection. Through Christ, our ashes become beautiful. Through Christ, the broken is repaired. Through Christ, our humiliation becomes joy.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Advent to Lent.

Birth and Death.

Beginning. Ending. Rising.  

Lord, as we begin this Lenten Season, humiliated by the ashes we receive, enable us to reflect on the sin that we so often try to avoid. Help us to remember that although we are dust, broken and mortal, we will one day rise with You, perfect and immortal. 



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