“From dust you were made, to dust you shall return.” This is the message of Ash Wednesday; the entry way to Lent.
This is a universal truth and message. Regardless of your station in life; your socio-economic status; or how well-liked or despised you are: we are but dust. We are mortal.
We spend a great deal of energy in our lives running from that fact. Pursuing money, influence, quality of life, and health. There is nothing wrong with these things. However, we must be careful that they don’t create a false impression that we are any better off because of them.
Yet, the truth is that all of us were created by God. We are not self-made people. Also, we will one day die. Nothing we can do will change that fact.
In short, Lent reminds us that we are on a level playing field with every other human being.
Before we get the impression that this is bad news, let’s remember the Good News. The second declaration of Ash Wednesday is: “Repent and believe the Gospel.”
In the same way that God gave us life, we find that God gives us new and everlasting life through Jesus Christ.
What Can We Do?
So, while we remember that we are dust, we can renew our attention towards Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can give less energy to those things that we can’t take with us beyond the grave and give more energy to the One who truly fulfills our lives.
Second, we can consider the way that view and treat other people.
In a world where we disregard people based on political opinion, whether or not they are poor, and what people look like, we can instead find our common ground give our differences to God. We are all in the same boat with one way to life.
So, this Lenten season, I invite all of us to two things.
1. Renew our attention to Jesus Christ
2. Do our part to put away false distinctions between people.
For we are all dust. And we will all return to dust. No ideology or social status will change that. But repentance and faith add meaning to the life between the dust and everlasting life in resurrection.
Find the person that you might otherwise disregard. Remember your common ground and remember this posture: “The Christ in me meets the Christ in you.”