March 9, 2022
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, and it reminds Christians of two central truths of our human condition. First, we are mortal.
Genesis 3 says we are earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adam comes from Adamah, meaning soil, the human from humus. Second, we are all sinners, and as Israelite tradition ritualized this, we repent in dust and ashes.
This forty-day journey towards Easter begins by marking our foreheads with dust. We acknowledge that we die and return to the earth. At the same time, the dust traces the life-giving cross indelibly marked on our foreheads at bapti...