Being Human – Ash Wednesday
Today is Ash Wednesday, a day many Christians set aside as a special day. It is a day to remember our humanness and mortality. It is a day to begin the season of Lent, a time for reflection, penitence, and preparation for Easter . . .
. . . Like Adam, we have come from dust, and to dust we will return. Throughout our lives, our dusty bodies remind us of our [humanity], when they get sick, or when they work imperfectly, or when they age, or when they stop working altogether . . .
. . . Ash Wednesday begins with bad news . . . but also signifies hope. The ashes that are imposed on our heads form the shape of a cross. Sometimes these crosses are obvious; sometimes more subtle. But the very stuff that symbolizes our [humanity] and sin also alludes to that which will set us free. It reminds us that God has entered into our human condition in order to break the power of sin and welcome us into the fullness of his life.
Yet Ash Wednesday is not Good Friday. It is not a day to focus on the cross so much as a time to begin to realize just how much we need the cross.
. . . Like millions of Christians throughout the world, today I will be reminded of my [humanity]. I have come from dust, and to dust I shall return. Thanks be to God, this is not the end of the story, but just the beginning, because God himself entered into my dustiness in Jesus Christ.