Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A MEditation

DUst and ashes touch our face,
mark our failure and our falling.
Holy Spirit come, walk with us tomorrow,
take us as disciples
washed and wakened by our calling

"Dust and Ashes Touch Our Face" 1986 Brian Wren. #105 in Voices United verse 1

Ashes. Pale, grey, nondescript. Ashes. That is how our Lenten journey begins. We take the remnants of last years triumphant palms and turn them from signs of joy into pale grey nondescript ashes.

As we look at the ashes we remember to confess those times we have slipped in our attempts to be the people GOd would have us be. We "mark our failure and our falling" as we rub the grey powder between our fingers. We remember and we recommit ourselves to try again.

As we look at the ashes we are reminded of the old words "Remember you are dust and to dust you shalll return". SOme of the ashes in our life are signs of bitterness, signs of mortality and destruction. And so we remember this year our brothers and sisters in Nipigon, left to watch as the town's main empoyer was reduced to ashes. We remember all who have placed caskets and urns into the ground to the refrain of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust". AShes mix with tears to become a pasty mess, ready to mark our lives.

ANd yet ashes are also a sign of hope. The ashes of the forest fire provide a rich bed for the new forest to start growing. The legendary phoenix is only able to be refreshed after the fire, then to rise again from the ashes. From the fire of destruction can come hope, as again we remember our sisters and brothers in Nipigon with the promise of rebuilding.

The world around us is ful of ashes. The ashes of burnt out souls. The ashes of burned up dreams and hopes. The ashes of regret and repentance. But amidst all the ashes and fear and depression lies a promise. "From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring". The Lenten journey takes us to Jerusalem and destruction. But beyond that lies the hope of resurrection and new life.

Dust and ashes choke our tongue
in the wasteland of depression.
Holy Spirit come, walk with us tomorrow,
through all gloom and grieving
to the paths of resurrection
Take us by the hand and lead us,
lead us through the desert sands
bring us living water, Holy SPirit come.
"Dust and Ashes Touch Our Face" 1986 Brian Wren. #105 in Voices United verse 3 and refrain

1 comment:

  1. Written with the intent of using it as the opening devotion at Friday's Christian Outreach and Social Action committee meeting.