Marked by God
February 17 | Ash Wednesday
Read: MATTHEW 6:1-6
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Today on Ash Wednesday millions of Christians around the world will receive a mark of ashes as a sign of repentance that begins our 40-day Lenten journey.
On the surface, today’s passage warning against public displays of piety might seem at odds with our Ash Wednesday practices. And yet, in receiving a visible sign of ashes, the focus is not our piety, our righteousness, or our virtue—it’s not about us.
The ashes are actually a reminder that we are the creation of a great Creator and that as we were formed from the dust, so we shall return to the dust (Genesis 3:19). We are not marked in order to center attention on ourselves; we are not marked by our own selves. The ashes attest that we are a people marked by God.
Lord of all creation, help us to de-center ourselves from our thinking and to place you at the forefront as we remember, reflect, and ultimately celebrate your sacrifice for our sake during this Lenten season. AMEN