Table of Contents
I must admit, I love Ash Wednesday. I like being reminded of how small I am. It prepares me for what is to come. On Ash Wednesday, it is easy for me to see that without God, we would not exist.
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 NRSV
Who else could take ashes and dust, and create a human being? But why?
We are mere men, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
The Beauty of Creation
The Bible tells us why God created Adam.
So God created humans in his image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27 NRSV
There is no higher honor than to mirror someone. Can you even begin to imagine the love that God has for us?
Our Lord created everything beautiful that we see; the stars, sun, and moon. He created mountains, clear lakes, rain, snow, and oceans. He created a spectrum of creatures great and small, some so physically beautiful they can take our breath and hearts away with one look.
Yet here we are, in God’s own image. Created from dust, with God’s own breath, breathed into us.
We are created from love, with love, to live in God’s domain.
Reflections in Darkness
Some of the longest and darkest days of winter often come during the Lenten time of reflection before Easter. We all wait for spring. I really feel the cold and deadness of life this time of year. Sometimes it takes effort to remember I am here for God’s delight and purpose, even as I fumble around in the darkness.
Then, sooner than expected, Good Friday comes upon the horizon.
At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”Mark 15:34 NRSV
As in December, we prepare in the darkness once again, believing the light will come.
We come to Good Friday with mixed emotions, perhaps even guilt. Why would Jesus suffer for me? Why did He choose me? I don’t like the story of Good Friday, but then, we aren’t meant to.
Good Friday is meant to make us uncomfortable. It is meant to help us see what the world would be like without God’s love.
It is a time for us to question our righteous, Christian souls.
Do you question your faith?
If so, good!
If you are asking questions, evaluating where you are in your relationship with Jesus Christ, and with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, you are working to remain in a relationship with God. How could Jesus Christ, our Savior, ask for our forgiveness–and mean it with his soul–even as He hung by our deeds?
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing.Luke 23:34 NRSV
Today I know it was me–the dusty part of me–that hung Jesus on the cross. I am nothing without His grace.
The Hope of the Tomb
Have you stood in the cold and dark, waiting for the sun to rise at an Easter celebration? You can feel the hope grow in your soul as it becomes light. It happens 364 days of the year, each time with its own gifts and beauty.
But on this morning, it is especially beautiful. Yet, we can’t believe what we are about to find.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body.4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.Luke 24:2-4 NRSV
We see the sky is getting light. Wait, is it our imagination or is it truly getting light?
The Promise of Salvation
How many times have we been told the story, by Jesus himself? This is what will happen, the light will come. He will return.
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it,31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.Mark 9:30-32 NRSV
In fact, Jesus mentions rising on the third day 21 times throughout the Gospels. Yet, we can’t believe our own senses.
In their fright, the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Then they remembered his words.John 20:16 NRSV
But God doesn’t act in a human manner, we are much too limited. God finds ways to get our attention – and we must attend.
I see the light, it is here. I can feel the warmth of the day taking away the darkness and cold. It is here! He has risen!
God Knows the Miracle
It’s easy to sing praises this morning! God has once again given us all a good end to this story of suffering. We are the benefactors of Jesus’ suffering. We are the dust that warrants His grace – for reasons we will never understand. We are not truly capable of understanding it all, but God knows.
He has risen! He has risen for us to see!
The Living Christ
He has done what we cannot. He has loved us beyond what we are ever able to return. I am awed by Jesus. I am overwhelmed by what He decided to do for me. My heart bursts with love, on this day of my salvation. I don’t comprehend it all, and I never will. But I can sing from my heart what I know.
He has Risen!
He has Risen!
He has Risen!
The Miracle of Easter
Easter morning is arguably the most important moment in Christianity. As Christians, we have our church family rituals marking the Christian year. There is nothing like the sun rising on Easter morning.
He has Risen! We sing and shout.
Pray with me: He Has Risen Indeed!
I am but dust Lord, breathed to life by your breath. My ways are ways of the earth and my love is limited, not limitless. I rejoice because today, He has risen! The Miracle of Easter is mine to share. He Has Risen, indeed! I shout Praises to You! Amen.