Dear Lord, on Ash Wednesday we hear the familiar words "remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
You'd think that we would remember more consistently. But we never get "used" to death as we get used to other things.
On this Ash Wednesday, help us not just to "remember we are dust," but to remember it among other people who are also seeking God who is alive, greater than life and death, and the source of our hope.
Help us, when we are emotionally reliant upon ephemeral things, to know how to put those things in perspective (or given them up for this season), in the spirit of turning to you and your life more deeply.
Give us a sense of repentance not just of our "big" sins but also our subtle sins and our respectable sins.
Provide for us a deeper compassion and sensitivity for the struggles of others. Alert us to the fact that everyone, indeed, carries a heavy burden unknown to us.
Let this upcoming seasons of repentance and reflection become a time of new beginnings, that we might become a blessing for others. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being (Job. 12:10).
If he should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath, all flesh would perish together, and all mortals return to dust (Job 34:14-15).
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light (Ps. 36:9).
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart (Ps. 51:6).
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us (2 Cor. 5:17-19).