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ash wednesday: introduction to the imposition of ashes

At the very beginning,
God scooped up the dust of the earth and molded it into human beings,
breathing divine breath into those creatures of dust.
Over time though, we dust creatures have forgotten who we are and whose we are.
We believed a serpent in the Garden of Eden who said we could become like God.
We believed that the gold calf Aaron made could guide us in the wilderness.
We believed the builders of Babel who thought by our own hands we could be greater than God.
We have covered up with leaves and clothes.
We have stopped taking time to walk with God in the gardens of the world God created.

But God does not stop finding ways to meet us.
God spoke through a burning bush, a whisper, a cloud pillar, the laws given to Moses,
and then ultimately through Jesus Christ.
By living a perfect sinless life,
Jesus exposed our lies of self-sufficiency.
Our sinful pride is brought into the light.
Our dusty nature is right there on the surface.

Come forward to reclaim the dust with which you were formed.
Come forward to recognize your need for the God who created you
and for the savior who desires to wash you clean.

Submitted by Kathleen Sheets, Pastoral Intern, First Presbyterian Church, Maumee, OH

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  1. What a beautiful, evocative reflection! It surely beats the very standard, dusty “introduction to the disciplines of lent” that came out of our liturgy manual. I will use this tonite, and make it part of my file for future years. Thanks!

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