On Ash Wednesday

Greetings in Christ,

Lent begins this Wednesday as we receive a smear of ash on our foreheads and are reminded that we are dust, and to that dust we will return. This human reality is one that we all share, from the highest to the lowest, death is our final event in this life. 

I was watching an archeological video last week about the discovery of the grave of a young woman at the Jamestown settlement site in Virginia. She died over 400 years ago and all that was left of her physical being were a few bones and her partial skull. Forensic artists took that skull, made exact replicas of it and using well defined techniques, applied clay to give reconstruction of her face. Once they finished you had a very striking resemblance of what she may have looked like. It was almost life like, save for the fact that though they could restore her face, they could not bring her back to life.

She could be any one of us. Should some archeologist open our graves in 400 years time they might find our bones, they may even have more advanced means of reconstructing our appearance, but they will not be able to reanimate our bones. Death will still seek to claim us.

Though we will all one day return to the dust from which we came, death’s claim on us will not be eternal. We begin Lent in somber reflection knowing that it will end in victory as Jesus rises from the grave. We know that His triumph over death is and will be ours.