dust.

17 Feb
Ash Wednesday.
This was the first time I had participated as a minister in an Ash Wednesday service.  I was nervous.  I was preaching and doubted my sermon.  I was using technology.  I wasn’t sure of the service and what parts were mine and where to go.  I was worried that I would forget the words for the imposition of ashes.  I was expecting something to go wrong.
We use Holden Evening Prayer for the Wednesdays in Lent.  My favorite.  With the singing of the Magnificant, I took a deep breath.  The sermon had been preached.  Technology had worked.  Ashes had been impositioned? imposited? imposed?  The majority of the service was over.
I looked out at the congregation and realized it was the first time I had seen Ash Wednesday from this angle.  I had always been one out there, sitting in the pew.  I was always one who came forward and the ashes were put on my forehead.  
This night, I was looking out at a church filled with crossed people.  Literally a community of worshippers with black crosses made of ash on their foreheads.  I suddenly was aware that I was one who spoke the words [remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return].  I was one who crossed the ashes on their foreheads.  It was an intimate action for me and I recognized that as I went from person to person. 
My role has changed.  Tonight I had a clear idea of what the calling to ministry continues to mean to me.
There was something cool.  inspiring.  humbling.  to see the congregation worshiping, singing, and remembering that we are dust together.  To see it from a different place – a different physical place in the sanctuary and a different place vocationally – was a gift for me tonight.  
Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.    

One Response to “dust.”

  1. familyfeedingdynamics February 20, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    cool. very profound

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