Ash Wednesday - Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

. Posted in 2013 Lenten Readings

I have no idea how many times I have spoken these solemn words.  Personally, I have been looking directly into the face of death nearly all my life.  When I was not yet 2 years old my mother died of tuberculosis.  No matter how hard I have tried to remember being with her – I have not been able to do so.  It will be quite a moment when we meet one another – in eternity.

Mother was a beautiful person – in so many different ways.  The same year that she died, her Mother and Father also died.  They were beautiful people.  I cannot remember being in their presence, either – but I was there.   It will be quite a moment when we meet one another – in eternity.  Mother’s five Sisters and five Brothers all reached out to me, as long as they lived on Planet Earth.  I had the privilege of knowing them all.  They were beautiful people.  They have all departed from this world….   Sometime in our “future” we will all be together again – in eternity.   It will be wonderful.

The first time I imposed ashes on the forehead of another person, I knew that I had to say more than: "Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return!" So, I added the phrase:  “But, in Christ, you are alive!”  Then I was able to look directly into the face of each Brother and Sister, in Christ – as I look directly into the face of death.

Throughout my life I have been surrounded by People who are “Alive in Christ”.  Many of them have gone to be with God.  Others are with me at worship.  You reach out to me – in so many different ways.  We sing together, we pray together, we kneel together – we go in peace to serve the Lord – together.  I thank God for each of you – Brothers and Sisters in Christ – and I thank you for sharing your faith life, with me and so many others.

Death continues to be part of our experience on Planet Earth.  However --- because Christ defeated the death, He experienced on a cross --- and presented Himself alive again --- He also meets us on our daily journeys with the assurance:  You are Alive.   So - ‘I know that my Redeemer lives…… He lives and grants me daily breath; he lives, and I shall conquer death; he lives my mansion to prepare; he lives to bring me safely there.”  To Life!!!

Submitted by Pastor Ron Jackson