Reset 2012: Ashes

Ash wednesday

Good morning dear bloggers!

Today is Ash Wednesday. Tradition has it that in the early church, when a new convert wanted to join, they had to go through a 40 day preparation period before their baptism, which followed a liturgy of death and resurrection. The practice continued until today, where we celebrate Lent as preparation for the resurrection that is to come.

But simply put, resurrection doesn't make sense without death. We have a tendency in the Church to focus only on that which is positive, that which makes us feel good inside, that which makes us happy. Sure, that's all well and good, but without death the resurrection is just another story. Without death, Christ's work loses it's meaning. We don't call it "sad Friday" because it's the day Jesus died, we call it Good Friday because this death is leading us somewhere unbelievable.

And maybe that's the greater point. Maybe we need to look at death (and by this I should say I mean all different forms of death, personal, professional, emotional, financial, and all the other ways that darkness creeps into our lives) for where it's taking us. Ash Wednesday is all about staring death right in the face and saying "You don't scare me." through the power of the Risen One.

Today, if you attend an Ash Wednesday service, you'll bare the mark of death on your forehead all day. Let it be a reminder. Every time you look in the mirror, let it remind you that on our own, we're nothing more than a pile of dirt. I know, I know, sounds miserable. But the trick is, and what we really really need to remember is, we're not on our own. We are A LOT more than a pile of dirt. Not because of who we are and what we've done, but precisely because we've put ourselves to death, and let Christ reign in our hearts and in our lives. (Galatians 2:20)

May we all stare death in the face today, and realize that he doesn't have the last word. Jesus does.