Ashes, ashes

Republished from February 2009.

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

By now most of us know that the delightful little ditty we grew up chanting is really a macabre holdover from the plague times of old. But as I ponder Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season I am reminded again and again of that line

Ash Wednesday, the day of repentance, a day when those who observe it are marked with the visible indication that we ALL fall down. Desolation. Destruction. Surrounded by ash. We sin against our families, our friends, our communities and our God. We fall down, and we lie in ashes on the ground and mourn our failure once again.

Photo by fallingwater123
And then God steps in. He lifts us from the ashes and calls us on a journey, a journey of following in his footsteps. If we rise from the ashes and go on that journey with him he can and will bring something beautiful from our failures.

Ash Wednesday is a day to repent of our sins. But it also marks the beginning of a journey that will lead us to the cross and to the reminder that for EVERY time we fall, for ALL of us who fall provision has been made. Grace has been given.
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.   Romans 3: 23,24 (NIV)

photo by James Trindade


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