In the Ashes
In the Ashes
Grace, mercy and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down! That’s the end to a nursery rhyme that Benny just started really liking. He would take the hands of his cousins, ring around and around, until the closing line, Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
We all do fall down, don’t we? That’s what it means to put these ashes on your head. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I say this to my sons, to my wife, as I put that cross of ash on their heads. Benny, you are dust, and to dust you will return. Amos, you two little handfuls of human, you are dust, and to dust you will return.
You, you were made from dust and to dust you will return.
These ashes once had a life. They were once something big. But this is the story of big things becoming little. Great things becoming little. Alive things becoming dead. These ashes once had a life, but like everything, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Living becomes dead.
But ashes, for us, are a only the next-to-last chapter. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
What do you do when you’re done with the game? Do you stay down? No, ashes, ashes, we all rise up!
That’s our text. To grant to those who mourn in Zion -- to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning.
It’s our Christian hope that ashes are not our end. It’s our Christian hope that these ashes will rise up on the last day. It’s our Christian hope that Christ will raise me and all the dead and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.
Lent is a journey of repentance, a journey from sin to grace, from hate to love, from death to life.
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