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Clearview United Methodist Church  



Starting Over

Do you "do" ashes? Ash Wednesday, I mean. February 21st. On that day, many of us will walk around with bruises on our heads, but I wonder how many of us will really take a moment to ponder why we do it, why we "do" ashes.

We do them to remember

Who we are. God formed the earth-creature out of dirt; Adam means "earthling". God breathed and the creature breathed. And God made Woman' remember, without Woman there is no man.

It was a nice honeymoon there in the Garden, two earthlings in sync with the Creator and creation; It must have been beautiful. But then, something happened. Really, they started to doubt God. "We better grab for that fruit because we don't know what the future holds", they might have thought. With that one reach, the couple began to exploit creation for their own desires. In wanting to be like God, they forgot who they were. And you can't be in the Garden if you're gonna tear it up, right?

So, here we are in the World, trying to use our knowledge of good and evil, trying not to mess up too badly. How's it going for you? I, for one, would love to re-member that beautiful Garden, but it is so hard to place it most of the time.

When we "do" ashes, we remember where we came from. We humans may live one hundred years but, remember, stars live billions of years. An in our short time here, God has asked us to take care of the creation we will never own, to teach the children (little earthlings) whose lives we cannot control and, if we want, maybe we'll look up and thank God every once in a while (yes, that is what worship is).

On September 11, 2001, a woman in New York City called her mother. She screamed into the phone, "Mom, don't you get it? We're breathing in the ashes of human remains. The dust of lost lives is literally floating through the air."

So, on Ash Wednesday, we have the opportunity to kneel before the Gardener one more time and say, "Lord, I need to start over. Will you help me?" And somewhere in the recesses of our hearts, we might feel a warm breath breathing into our earthly bodies once again. And we will remember.

Truly, we have been blessed, praise be...

Pastor Chris


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