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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Episode 4: March 12 - Ash Saturday

I’m waiting.

“How long, O Lord?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long? . . .
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes,”                                               (Psalm 13:1-3)

“My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?
Turn, O Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.”                      (Psalm 6:3-4)

“Those who wait for the Lord will
find their strength renewed,
they will mount up with wings like eagles,
they will run and not be weary,
they will walk and not faint.”                                       (Isaiah 40:31)

Another way to translate the Hebrew is
“Those who trust in the Lord will . . .”

I am waiting.
I will trust.
How long?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Episode 3: March 11 - Ash Friday

Tuesday there was partying.
Mardi gras. One last fling.
We were so full of the flame of life
or tried to convince ourselves we were.
Were we?

Our fast living
is but an attempt to outrun the wind.
Fearing the wind
      will blow out the flame of life
      will scatter even the ashes of our memory,
we run from the breath that gives life.

Wednesday came the ashes:
a reminder we are but dust.

Thursday it began to sink in.
      dust does not give life
      flame turns to ashes.
“Wretched one that I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death?”           (Romans 7:24)

Dust does not give life.
Spirit gives life to dust.
Where can I find this Spirit?
Or must I wait to be found?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Episode 2: March 10 - Ash Thursday

Yesterday there were ashes.
And words:  You are dust
      and to dust you shall return.
I am doomed.

I came from dust.
I shall return to dust.
The flame of my life will burn out
      in ashes blown by the wind.
And that will be the end.

Is that how it ends?
Ashes blown by the wind?
Or is that how it begins?
“In the beginning
the earth was a formless void and . . .
a wind from God swept over.”                                  (Genesis 1:1-2)

“The wind blows where it chooses,
      and you hear the sound of it,
but you do not know
      where it comes from
      or where it goes,” said Jesus
So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”              (John 3:8)
Is that how it begins?

Ashes blown by the wind.
Wind sweeping over the dust of the earth.
Spirit breathing life into the dust.                                  (Genesis 2:7)

Blow once again, O Spirit,
breathe new life once more
let me be born of the Spirit
I who am but dust and ashes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Episode 1: March 9 - Ash Wednesday

Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.

You are the dust of the earth,
and to dust you shall return.

God took some dirt from the ground
and formed a human being
and breathed in the breath of life.

Dust and breath;
matter and spirit.
That’s who we are.

And how do we live?
            Dust and breath?
            Matter and spirit?