Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Life is nice tonight. Its Saturday night and my wife is painting a beautiful sea landscape, we're listening to Counting Crows and I'm messing around with my media player. I'm ripping music from my CD's to the laptop.

Seeing as I haven't posted about my first Ash Wednesday service, I thought I'd do that now. So last Wednesday my wife and I drove a short distance to St. Marks United Methodist Church for their Ash Wednesday service. The only thing we knew about the service before entering through their doors was the part of the service where they applied the ashes on your forehead in the sign of the cross.

It was a somber hour of worship. We sang in the style of Taize, which means a repeated, reflective type of songs. (You sing about lines worth of music) In the back was a guitar player, harpist and flute player who played quiet yet sweeping pieces that filled the room and resonated within your soul. We sang, read from Scripture, chanted the Lord's Prayer, received the ashes on our foreheads, and we all existed quietly out the back at the conclusion of the service. It was sacred space for sure. We were reminded of our mortality, sinfulness and delicacy in the Master's hand. From dust we were made, and from dust we shall return. A message that's not heard much in our busy lives. We live and act as immortals, the masters of our own space. Surely we are all in control. Our lives are not ashes, but beautiful masterpieces with which we had sculpted and perfected through mediums all our own. Right? So we think. But our lives are masterpieces, even if constructed from that grey substance called ashes. Only the Artist can make what's shapeless and void into something that explodes into brilliant pastels and hues across the atmosphere of this universe forming incredible architectural continuity. Yes ashes, ashes we all fall down, but we wait in expectantly for the Architect to resurrect redemption from these grey clumps.