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Remember That You Are Dust

Dear Partners in Ministry,

The “bright sadness” of the Lenten season will soon be upon us. Lent, a Christian practice dating to the 4th century, involves a 40-day journey when we “fast before we feast.”

It is a time of mindful preparation, one that the author Martin L. Smith refers to as a “season for the Spirit of truth” that begins with the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Though Lent confronts us with the reality of our own sin and mortality, it also creates space for disciples traveling the way of Jesus to live in the space between lament and joy. It is a sacred time when we give voice to our lament and our longing for healing, a time when we cry out: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

While many Christians associate Lent with an intentional period of fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and repentance, we should also remember that Lent, at its core, is a time of revelation — proclaiming to all with ears to hear and eyes to see that the “foolishness” of the cross IS the power and wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

As we inch ever closer to the coming of spring, I invite you to take advantage of the gift Lent affords us — the invitation to slow down our lives and to tap into our vulnerability. In so doing, may we all discover anew the need for God’s gracious presence in our lives and in our world.

In Christ’s Peace,
Pastor Jon

Tags: Weekly Word