Showing posts from February, 2021

Knowing Who You Are

Sometimes it is hard to remember who you are. There is just so much noise. There is just so much to do. There are just so many voices vying for attention. There is just so much negativity. There is just so much to worry about. There are just so many distractions. In the midst of it all, it is really hard to remember who you are. And it all seems to move so fast. In the Gospel of Mark, we have a similar fast moving story that takes the reader through Jesus' baptism, his temptation in the desert, and his proclamation of the kingdom of God. This is where it all begins for the author. Listen to the voice of God through this reading from Mark.  "In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.   And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved;   with you I am well pleased.' And the Spirit immediately

Beginning with Ashes

In the Christian calendar, the season we call Lent begins with Ashes.  This Wednesday, throughout the world many Christians will hear the words "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return" as they are marked with the sign of the cross on their forehead with ashes (even in the midst of a pandemic, this tradition will continue in creative ways). These ashes serve as a reminder of human frailty and brokenness, of the many reasons we have for lament and the ways in which we have failed one another, of the weight of our grief and the depth of our sorrow. These ashes mark not only our bodies but also the beginning of a 40-day journey called Lent. For those who make this journey, it will take us into the complexity of what it means to be human, the struggle of life itself, the challenge of faith, and the presence of God throughout it all.  After a year of immeasurable loss, physical distance from those we love, fear of a virus we cannot see, and anxiety over what might