Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter:
We confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith.
And it is a yearly reminder that Proof Reading Matters!
For he knows we are but dust and that our days are few and brief, like grass, like flowers, blown by the wind and gone forever. Psalm 130:14-16
The truth is that despite our capacity for intellectual genius and moral goodness according to chemical composition we are dust!
Your body contains enough carbon to make 900 pencils and enough fat to make 75 candles and enough sulfur to kill all the fleas on an average dog. So when we reduce humanity to mere atoms through science we may not be butt dust, but we are dust.
Dust you are and to dust you will return Genesis 3:19
But Ash Wednesday should be more than a reminder of our mortal nature.
It is also a reminder of our Divine beginning.
In the beginning, after each day of creation … God declares “It is good!”
And then when humanity is created … God declares “It is VERY good!”
That statement is more than a stamp of approval … this is an expression of divine delight in that which has been created. Humanity – you and me!
In part it helps us answer the question: What does it mean for us to be human?
Well according to Genesis, every person must be evaluated according to divine origins and that is good news because it means we – you and I – we transcend science and material composition.
While we may be destined to become dust … we are more than dust!
There are hidden depths to our humanity.
Your value cannot be reduced to an image, a physique, an achievement, DUST.
From your beginning, you have been given a divine status.
You are a sacred being of untold value and worth.
You are not just any dust … You are Divine DUST
Genesis makes it clear … all humanity is equal – male and female
There is NO hierarchy.
From the beginning a foundation is being set.
Racism, sexism, bigotry have blighted the story but the story has not changed.
Genesis provides the eternal truth.
Genesis provides the rationale to eliminate rich or poor, black or white, drunk or sober, male or female …
for according to the foundations established in Genesis … every human is sacred!
Embrace your sacred worth.
You are dust, but your dust is deeply loved by God.
As we journey to Easter, take time to ponder what it means to be loved by God.
And then be ready to respond …
Because that LOVE should make a difference in your life as dust on this Earth.