Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lenten Reflections: Death

"....and to dust you shall return." - Genesis 3:19

For a hard days sin, our payment is death. And we work hard for our sin, don't we? From morning to night, we labor for sin, cherish it, covet it and seal it away in the hidden places of life so that no one ever knows about it. But death soon finds each of us at the end of our lives, and a life of sin is what we present for the big payoff. We can't avoid it. We climbed the proverbial ladder of success, competed to be the best, screwed over those who deserved to be screwed, made the grade and accepted the honor. Sin perfected. 

"My sin is better than yours!"
We did what we set out to do.
Mission accomplished.
Now we get ours.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Lent magnifies the filth that is you and me. The ashes still linger from last Wednesday. They've been washed off, but the dirt still remains. It sears the skin and penetrates the pores. Ashes. A dark reminder of the inevitable end that we will all face.Yet through the paradox of the Resurrection, we are cleansed of the filth, healed of the wounds that cripple, the broken limbs that cause us to stagger and the pains of death that haunt. Christ breathes new life into the lifeless, rejected and formless filth that we are. All of the eternal promises of Eden come racing back and we find ourselves naked, but covered in filth.  

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Lent reminds us that through Christ, death is no longer a payment that we have to bear out of our pockets.

We lost our debit cards.
We are out of checks.
No petty cash.

The expense lies on the One who mimicked our efforts and climbed the ladder of success of sin with us. He accepted the check and cashed it in, forging our signatures. Yet we still go through the motions. We mimic death, as He mimicked our sin.

Fake death for real sin.

UNeven exchange for services rendered.   

Lent portrays life. A micro-life in 40 days. A journey toward light, but filth that remains and darkness that overwhelms.

Thank God it's Friday.

But resurrection comes a few short days later. The check will be returned to us.


Lord, Thank You for accepting the wages of our life of sin. By Your Spirit, breathe new life into us this day. Let Your Holy Spirit fill us, so that as we continue in our journey of Lent, we remain Holy as You are Holy. The journey is long. We know that we face death at the end. But through our faith in You, remind us and encourage us that Your Resurrection awaits us. May we be alive in You. Amen

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