Lent Is Launched

During the 40 days of Lent as we journey through the pandemic wilderness toward Easter Day, One in the Spirit will be sharing reflections and meditations along the way as strength for the journey. We begin with this Ash Wednesday reflection from Jan Richardson

As we prepare to cross into Ash Wednesday, I hardly have words to preface this blessing this year. But I can say I am more curious and more fierce than ever about its question, “Did you not know what the Holy One can do with dust?” May we keep learning. May we be part of the answer.

BLESSING THE DUST

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners

or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are

but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.

—Jan Richardsonfrom Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons
Image: “Ash Wednesday Cross” © janrichardsonimages.com

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