“…for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19
Read this verse over and over. What is God whispering to you?
“Happy Valentine’s day you sinner.” This feels like what most people are thinking that Christians are like this Valentine’s day and Ash Wednesday. It has become a joke that we embrace. Speaking of jokes I keep thinking about the child who started crying in church on Ash Wednesday. The father asked what was wrong? The child said, “I don’t want to be butt dust.”
All jokes aside Happy Valentine’s Day and happy Ash Wednesday. These two days seem to be in contradiction of each other but, in reality, they go well together. Both are about love. St Valentine was known for His love. The legend goes that He helped pass love notes between lovers jailed for being Christians. He is also said to have been big on performing weddings. He is said to have performed a miracle of giving a young girl sight. The emperor Gothicus heard about it and beheaded him for being a Christian. His festival day has grown to be what it is today, Valentine’s Day. Ash Wednesday is about love too. The love of God, sending His one and only Son to die for our sins and our response to that love.
We often forget that Lent is about love. We focus on how bad we are and forget how good God is. That is the point. Even though we are sinners Jesus died to save us. Our response should be of humility. We are but dust and to dust we shall return. But Jesus will raise us on the last day, reunite our bodies with our Spirit and we shall live forever.
The importance of our verse today is it comes from the passage of the fall of man. When man sinned God reminded Adam and Eve of who they were. Their life and the lives of all of mankind changed because of that sin. Jesus is the second Adam who came to save us from that fate of eternal death. Those who believe in Jesus as our Savoir will live forever. Our sins are forgiven. That is a story of God’s love. He loved us so much that He would not leave us in our sin, separated from Him. He gave His all to save us.
Love is more than giving candy and flowers. It is giving our life for the sake of others. This doesn’t have to mean dying. It means giving up our wants and desires for the sake of others. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor. Visiting the lonely. Helping the disabled. It is showing compassion to those in pain or are struggling. Humbling ourselves to be servants instead of expecting to be served. This Lent let us focus on Love. What does it mean to Love? How can you show love to God and others?
It is important to do this in our congregations, but it is even more important to go out to the lost. You can’t save the lost if you are surrounded by the found. Who needs love in your community? Go and show that love to them.