Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Our theme for the upcoming Lenten season is Life Endures. We will be walking through the stories of Jesus experiencing suffering/loss (personally or through people he encounters) and how life endures even in the darkest of situations.
It’s an appropriate theme for Lent. The season begins this Wednesday with the Imposition of Ashes. It’s a solemn tradition. With burnt ashes, the sign of the cross is placed on the foreheads of worshippers, marked with the words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
When I first did this for my son Isaac, it nearly brought me to tears. Remember you are dust? How could I say that to this new child I had just brought into the world?
It’s a somber reminder that we are all only on this planet for a very brief time. But in this ritual we remember something else too; we remember that death is not the end of the story. Life endures.
We are going to have speakers join us each Wednesday Evening to speak on different trials in their lives and how faith has helped them endure.
Our speakers will tell their stories of surviving cancer, losing loved loves, going through divorce, dealing with dementia and with disabilities and how God was present through their journeys. Even through all these hardships, we will look at how life came out of these difficult and sometimes dark circumstances.
Ultimately, we hope that you’ll find their stories encouraging to you in your faith journeys. To know that you are not alone in suffering, nor does suffering mean that God has abandoned you. Because ultimately, the proclamation of our faith tells us that even in death, God is working to make all things new.
Life endures, not because of hardship, but because God is always in the midst of it.