___ posted February 21, 2012 by Matthew Green
I think if we did stop and ponder them, we might be doubly offended. I think there's something in us that would rankle at being told we are dust. Living in “the greatest nation in the world” in the shadow of the self-esteem movement and amidst abundant consumer messages (“Because I'm worth it,” “You deserve a break today,” “Have it your way”), the very idea that we are dust should almost strike us like a slap to the face. We're certainly more than dust! And yet while we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we are still dust, frail, broken, and in need.
Then add to that the idea that we will return to dust. Death is...
Lent is nearly on top of us, and with it comes Ash Wednesday. In high liturgical churches, the people are reminded, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.” As I think about those words, it strikes me that perhaps they are some crucial words for Christians in the States to hear, though I suspect they're also the ones most likely to pass right on through our ears, skipping by our hearts, and off into the stratosphere.