Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.
What a depressing opening, Mother Nancy! Can’t we be more positive? Didn’t you say Jesus came to show us the abundance of LIFE? Why do you even need to talk about this mortality thing?
We could talk for hours about how our culture tries to undo death simply by ignoring it or fight it off by spending our energy and money and time attempting to make ourselves look younger but taking either of these stances doesn’t give full credit to our humanness as God created us, of which our mortality is part.
Jesus said: “I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.”John 10:10
Acknowledging our mortality isn’t a weakness or admitting any type of defeat. It is knowing who and whose we are: God’s beloved children created in God’s image to bear the divine image through all that we are and all that we do. Mortal life as we know it here on this earth will end for all of us some day, but our life with God is everlasting. God’s greatest desire for us is the abundance of life found by following Jesus into God’s kingdom here and now.
This season of Lent is a time of self-reflection to help us all peel back the layers we’ve created as we have attempted to interpret and respond to the events of our lives by our own methods rather than in the abundance of life God created us for. This is an intentional season of renewal and growth, with God’s help (re)orienting ourselves to God’s plan and purpose for the creation God calls “very good.”
In the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church, the Ash Wednesday service includes these words:
We’ll talk about some of this ChurchLand language in the days to come as we begin to look deeper into ourselves and our relationship with God. Please join in the conversation. Ask questions. Share your concerns and your fears knowing you are not the only one who has them. Our faith is lived in community with each other and God and together we walk this journey of life and love.
I am grateful we are entering this season together.