Seven Wonders of the Word
…and it’s called “Charlie Sheen”
And so it starts, our Lenten Devotions.
So today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I wake up to this (hopefully you see a picture of snow falling in my back yard here!)
Like many in this neck of the woods, come this time of year, I don’t care how pretty the snow is, it is time for it to go away! But, it won’t, at least not yet so you deal with it.
Maybe that is why I like Ash Wednesday so much, I have written and blogged about this before and most likely, I will again. Ash Wednesday holds a mirror up to us and forces us to deal with what gets reflected back to us. That reflection is not always what we like to see, we are frail, we are mortal, we have our brokenness and we have our limitations. What we have to deal with in a word is sin. I think it is vitally important that we as humans get a grip on this and I can think of no better way that the disciplines of Lent.
Our world is good at distractions, we turn on the TV or go to a web page and get high on a little “Charlie Sheen” and we forget our troubles for a while. We fantasize about the perfect house, car, relationship or what have you and we fail to deal with what is right in front of us.
We all do it, in some ways distraction is the core of much of what is called sin. We are like Martha in the Mary Martha Story. Mary is sitting there listening to Jesus, while Martha, like a good girl is distracted by many things trying to be a good hostess, she is doing her job, doing what is expected by culture and her sister isn’t. So she whines to Jesus, and he replies (in Brady Bunch style); Martha, Martha, Martha; you are distracted and worried about many things, Mary has chosen what is really important. What is interesting is that none of what Martha was doing was bad or wrong. Many of our distractions too are good things, but have we taken the time to focus on the one thing needful?
This Lent the people in my congregation are journeying though the “Seven Wonders of the Word” a 40 day devotional from our denominational publishing house. I think it is very fitting on the day we confess we are dust, the focus on CREATION as the first wonder of the Word! It is from dust we are made, formed and breathed into we become human. On this Ash Wednesday as I look upon the mirror that the words “you are dust and to dust you shall return” I see in that reflection, the very dust of life, of returning to the creator, to the promises of life to those of us made from dust. As I wear my ashen cross today I will be reminded of my limitations, and realize there is nothing much I can do about them. However, it is because of that cross and the limitless love of God shown through that EMPTY cross that dust is not the last word of life, in God’s creative and redeeming hands dust is also the beginning.
So… snow and all here we go… off into Lent, let us see where the wonder of the Word brings us this year!