Ashes, Dirt and Other Beautiful Things
Tomorrow is our first Sunday of Lent. In preparation for our scripture explorations, I invite you to contemplate the following liturgy by the brilliant writers of enfleshed. This is the liturgy I read with Rev. Stephanie Swanson in our Ash Wednesday service. Ash Wednesday It’s not at all about the need to think of ourselves as awful. For many of us, that already comes too easy. If you don’t need a smear across your forehead because you wear it on your heart every day hear these words: You are not awful. God doesn’t think you’re awful. You were not created awful. There’s nothing divine that is born from believing you are awful. If this is hard for you to accept, to believe, to hold deeply in your smeared heart, spend some time with that this season. You have been lied to. Heal. Resist. Unlearn those prayers that make you small. Come alive again before you remember death. But then, when you do, when you remember you are good, don’t settle for believing the journey is complete. It was never only yours to begin with. Let it lead you to questions of us: Why do we, so good, turn on each other? Why do we, so good, allow for evil to flourish through white supremacy or patriarchy or poverty or queer and transphobia? Created good. Created good. Created good. But collectively invested in evil. In its stories. In its profits. In its familiar. To re-member is a collective occasion. A communal acknowledgment of the choices before us. Let the remember-ing that we are dust and to dust we will return be a reckoning with our inseparable lives and deaths be an apology for all we have chosen instead of each other be a grounding in the promise that we come from holy soil. Holy dirt. Holy dust. Created good. In need of tending. Rich with potential for beauty. Hungry for nutrients. Wild and unruly. Vulnerable. The dust births new life. The dust receives the dead. In the dust we find each other today or eventually.