We Are Dust

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. – Genesis 3:19 Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. The occasion is marked, literally, with ashes on the forehead and the words “you are dust, and to dust you will return.” It is the very same reminder that God gave to the man and the woman in the garden after their disobedience. They chose to break communion with their Creator and instead followed the allure of being like God. But they weren’t like God, a fact they were deceived into forgetting; the man and woman were a part of the creation. Above every other created thing, yet less than God. So, rather than the deathless existence for which they were intended, God made their life a fight against the ground that would provide their food, a reminder of the dust to which they would now return. Just like the first man and woman, we break the communion with God that the death and resurrection of Christ enables, and attempt to pursue wholeness apart from our Creator. We get deceived that this is possible, and attempt to grasp onto a semblance of value the identity we create provides. We do what is right in our own eyes. Selfishly. Rebelliously. The ashes on our foreheads today remind us that it is not our eyes that determine what is right. We are not God. It is appointed that all men and women will return to dust. As much...

Keeping Christ in Christmas

I have to confess to you that I have a little pet peeve regarding the “Keep Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers, church signs, and car magnets that seem to pop up this time of year. Of course, they are a reaction to our culture’s growing tendency to refer to this as the holiday season. Boldly I say, count me as one follower of Christ who fully supports this cultural trend. First, it IS the season of holidays. There’s Thanksgiving. And Hanukkah. Ramadan. Kwanzaa, the New Year. Probably others of which I’m not aware. It seems the height of Christian arrogance to make everyone use our name for a certain time of the year. It dismisses others’ points of view. Whether or not we agree with their belief system, diminishing their traditions does not put us in their good graces to have an open discussion about Christ. It creates defensiveness; an us-against-them which closes people off. More importantly (in my estimation), do we really want the name Christmas associated with the consumerism and commercialism that runs rampant in our culture and amps up at this time of the year? Short answer: No. No, I don’t. So if Wal-mart wants to call it a “Holiday Sale”, Starbucks wants to put coffee in plain red cups, Best Buy wants to have a giant “Happy Holidays” sign on the front of the store, or the mall wants to promote “Winter Savings”, they can do it with my blessing. I am totally on board with that. In fact, I view it as a favor. One less battle I have to fight with those who argue Christmas is nothing more than...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

Close
loading...