Ash Wednesday: Why I Take Ashes

“From ashes we come, to ashes we will return.”

We hardly need any reminders in this violent and turbulent word that life is precious - so very precious. But this is the starting point for my faith. Life is precious, and I have been granted a portion. Someday it will be finished, and my work will be done. I choose to root my life, my very precious life, upon the foundation of God and God’s son Jesus Christ.

Jesus lived so that we might see and know the love of God. In his last days, no matter what was done to him, he refused to do anything less than to love. In that, I find redemption. I am not called to be Jesus. I do not look for opportunities of suffering that I might display Christlike qualities, but I do know that God will do nothing less than love me and love every person in this life - in this very precious life. In that love, there is redemption.

I do not understand why things happen the way that they do. Understanding is not the basis nor the reason for my faith. I trust this God that I know through Jesus. That trust is the basis of my faith.

Therefore, I will receive ashes this Wednesday. And I will give thanks for this life, this very precious life. And I will give thanks to God, who alone can love so many that I don’t want to. And I will confess this and many other shortcomings. And I will leave knowing that I am loved into redemption and my life, my very precious life, will be more deeply rooted and grounded in something - in Someone - that will transcend all that I now see and know and understand.

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