Ashes, Dust, and New Life (Pastor Scott's latest Wesley Chapel Times article)
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
A new ache in the joints, a few fresh sags here and there and an extra minute needed to catch the breath – where twenty years ago I didn’t give much thought to my aging body, now it groans and gets in my face every day. Researchers tell us if we treat aging as a disease, we’ll find a cure. Some say that’s what Ponce de Leon was after when he came to Florida. If so, the search for that cure has been going for over 500 years. In the meantime, there is no end to prescriptions, tests and doctors appointments, exercises, treatments and dietary tweaks available to help us keep up in this race with time. Still, I haven’t met anyone who’s won that race...
well, just one...
“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
The idea that these bodies of ours will be gone someday can fill us with sadness and dread. If we’re convinced that we are tied only to this flesh and blood existence, then death is a brick wall we will eventually smash into. One man, however, broke clear through that wall and came out the other side. That one man, Jesus Christ, is our hope and our healing for body and soul.
The season called Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (February 26 this year). That day, many Christians throughout the world will receive a cross of ashes marked on their forehead as the words are spoken:
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Those words may sound grim but they are actually good news to all of us, especially as we struggle with our flagging and sagging bodies. Those who follow Christ discover new life beyond the wall of death. Join your local church this Lent and hear the message of hope for all humankind.
Atonement Lutheran Church in Wesley Chapel welcomes all to come and receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 26. They are available during services at 2:30pm and 7pm.
Pastor Scott Lindner