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Our Deepest Desire

Not growing up in a tradition that observed Ash Wednesday and Lent, I admit that it still catches me by surprise how meaningful the imposition of ashes is to so many in our community. Those who attend church every Sunday and those who haven’t set foot in a church in years. Those whose skin is filled with wrinkles and those who are still wearing the glitter from the day before. Folks of all ages and all denominations coming together for one thing.

But what is that one thing?

What is it inside of us that can so quickly embrace the contrast between “Laissez les bons temps rouler” and “from dust you came, to dust you shall return”?

How ironic that the season that invites us to “come clean” starts with ashes. We who spend so much energy trying to filter out all our flaws actually invite the filth of the ashes to be smeared on our foreheads for all to see. Could it be that deep inside of each one of us there is a need to embrace our mortality? A desire to ponder a

deeper purpose? A time to rest? Could it be that our deepest desire is to be seen as flawed, scarred and broken, and still worthy of love, redemption, and freedom?

“From dust you came, to dust you shall return.” I have said this countless times each Ash Wednesday for the past 24 years. But I can’t leave it there. I just can’t. I know that there is more to the story. More to your story. More to my story. As I washed the smeared ashes from my forehead I remembered what I told each child, “When you wash your face tonight, look in the mirror and see a beautiful child of God who is loved by Jesus.”

Join us each week during Lent as we journey to a place where we can truly see ourselves and one another as a beautiful child of God who is loved by Jesus.

Pastor Jo

February 15, 2024

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