"...All come from dust, and to dust all return."
Dust is everywhere—dust bunnies hide under beds, dust balls collect in corners, fine particles float in the air, and a dirty film coats every undisturbed surface in our homes. Dust invades even unreachable spots, like under the refrigerator and behind furniture. We can’t hide from dust!
Today is Ash Wednesday, the day we are reminded that humankind is made from dust and that, one day, our bodies will turn back into dust again. Ash Wednesday kicks off the church season of Lent, the 40 days Christians get ready for Easter. Some people celebrate the day with a smear of dust on their foreheads in the shape of a cross.
There is no right or wrong way to get ready for Easter. Some Christians use the days leading to Easter as a time to become closer friends with Jesus. Some try to remove unhealthy or meaningless habits from their lives during these days. Instead of using time to eat chocolate or watch internet videos, they focus on God. Some Christians use Lent to add activities to their schedules to allow them to share more time with God: they may spend more time in prayer, enjoy regular quiet time to read God’s word, or volunteer to help people in their neighborhood.
The cross is a symbol of our faith. Wherever you see it, think of it as an invitation from your friend, Jesus. Jesus invites us to follow and live like him, notice his love in action in the world, and welcome God’s love and grace into our lives. Like a party invitation, the cross invites us to spend more time with Jesus, learn more about his life, and ask him more questions. The cross reminds us that we can’t hide from God’s love!
Take on the household task of dusting as you discuss these questions. Before you get out the cleaning rags and feather dusters, seek out dusty spots and draw crosses with your fingers.
- What is Jesus inviting you to do to get ready for Easter?
- What questions do you have about God?
- What questions do you want to ask God?
Sprinkle a handful of flour on a baking tray and draw in the dust. Notice the natural instinct to create in the dust, just like our Creator God. Point out how easily the dust spreads, like God’s love. From dust you have come and to dust you shall return!
With a dry-erase marker, mark each mirror in your home, vehicle and bags with a cross. Each time you draw a cross, remind yourself, “God loves me!” Each time you see one of these crosses during this Lent, imagine it as your personal invitation to spend more time with God.