Ashes to ashes, dust to dust: The connection to the cross, and baptism!

Created with Microsoft Fresh PaintTomorrow I get to lead chapel at my Church School. Tomorrow is ash Wednesday and that has me thinking deeply today.  Many of the children who will be here will experience imposition of ashes.  My prayer tomorrow is that many of our students will take the time in worship to remember their sin and more importantly be reminded of the eternal life won for us on the cross, and given to us in our baptism as we are connected to the cross.

I know many people don’t like the imposition of ashes because of Jesus’ words in Matthew  6 about keeping our prayers and fasting to ourselves and not to show it off.  Jesus is obviously right, and if the goal of ashes is to show the world we are repentant or how good of a Christian we are we have failed.

The purpose of the ashes placed on us is to remind us of our sin, remind us that without Jesus we are dust and without him we will continue to be dust forever.  I love that in that moment. When we are brought to the realization of our brokenness.  The part I think is more important and often overlooked is we are given the sign of the cross.  The same sign we were given at our baptism.  That this is not our end. We are not just dust but we are God’s child.  We are the ones who are connected by baptism into Jesus’ death and resurrection. You have eternal life today in Jesus and forever more.  As we spend the next 40 days in a time of reflection on our sin we must not forget these two truths.

Tomorrow as you are reminded of your sin, and the death it brings, remember the life that comes in life with Jesus.

  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  2 Corinthians 5:21-6:2

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