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Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning if the Season of Lent. Today our faces turn toward the cross. We begin the journey to Easter. We had an Ash Wednesday service at the church this evening. And all day my friends on Facebook (many of whom are clergy) have been referencing this day and all that it means.

I was struck by the phrase “you are dust and to dust you shall return” today. My community of faith had traveled through some difficult days recently. A number of the pillars of our congregation have passed away. Indeed, yesterday we received news of the sudden death of one of our dearest Elders – a man who was beloved in our community.

The reality is, our days are numbered. We are dust and to dust we shall return. But for the Christian, death is no final thing. We will return to dust, but that is merely a translation from this temporary existence to the eternal life for which we were created.

Our time here is short, and the question must be (to quote Gandalf, who is usually worth quoting), “…what will we do with the time that is given to us?” I hope I am using the time given to me wisely. I hope you are trying to use your time wisely.

We are dust, and to dust we shall return. But before we do, what if we constantly looked for opportunities to be a little more generous, a little more loving, a little more kind. What of our days were spent looking for ways to build others up, to bring joy to those in despair, to touch one more life in a way that leaves that person better than you found them.

I think that would be a life well-lived, a life Jesus would approve of, no matter the actual number of days.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
Colossians 1:9, 10 NLT

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