Friday, February 23, 2007

Ashes to ashes

I must say that Ash Wednesday was for me a very deep and spiritual growth point. When I placed the cross of ash on the forehead of the worshiper's with the words, "From dust you came, and to dust you will return," it turned something inside of me. The power of that truth called mortality. Coming to terms with our tangible nature is the cornerstone of spiritual health. It said to me, Get down to basics. Get down on the ground and humble yourself before the living God your Creator. Stop all your pretentious self-confessed wisdom and your high and mighty ideas of the world and how it should be run. Stop with your self-righteous parading and throw yourself rather into the hands of a God who brings about results as God desires. You are not going to change the world. God is going to change the world through you. If there is to be any judgment it will be God who passes judgment. All I ask is that I may be saturated with the nature of God as I love people to the point of death. May that be my only measuring rod, my only scale of justice, my obession, and cause for self evaluation.


Anonymous said...

I like your comments about Ash Wednesday. It is a humbling service. I remember that after the imputation of ashes on my parishioners heads, I looked out into the congregation and saw the sign of the cross there in ashes. It made me smile because I thought to myself, "Look at all the people God has claimed as his own!"

I also enjoyed your comments on 'self-righteous parading'. In C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters that was one 'sin' that stood out to me that Screwtape said many humans fall for. The sin of entitlement. God make this happen because I did __. It is amazing how deep that sense of entitlement runs.

Holy Lent to you.

Rev. J

Mike V said...

Ash Wednesday was an amazing service for many of us. But it really came home to me this morning when you brought your message to its conclusion with the statement - God will change the world through us if (whatever we do?) we do it in love - to the point of death. When all else is gone, burned to a cinder, only faith hope and love will remain and the greatest of these is Love.