Ashes (Day 1 of A Simple Lent)
Today isn’t a normal day. I wake up early, before the sun rises. I get dressed with extra layers and I prepare to share a public invitation. An invite to the anti-party. No loud music or dancing. The food is meeger. It isn’t an invite ordinarily welcomed. I say
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
A strange invitation, this is. To an anti-party. To a time of reflection and humility. Quiet.
But when I say these words, I think of creation and a time where there was nothing; no birds or grass or flowers had been created yet and
then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
And the very word for this human was derived from the word for the dust of the ground. Adam, the word and the man, both from dust. It seems that Adam would be constantly reminded that he is of dust. This invitation we receive, then is that we are Adam. We are of the dust of the ground.
This should be enough for us. But if we keep reading about Adam, we read of knowledge and the tree and its fruit and of temptation and invitation and of eating and self-awareness. We learn about learning.
Rather than punishing these two Adams with death, GOD gives them jobs. To the woman is given the power to bring life from flesh. To the man is given the power to bring life from the dust of the ground.
Today we not only remember our roots, we remember our rootedness. We remember our being. Our purpose. We remember the grace of GOD and the power given to humanity. We remember that this is much bigger than we are.
We remember that we are to share with others in this purpose. To bring life from flesh and from the dust of the earth. To discover, create, and build. To share in the creative power of GOD. That is certainly worth waking up early for.