Ash Wednesday brings to mind the image of dust and especially dust bunnies because of the words said during the imposition of ashes: Genesis 3:19b “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Dust is something that also comes to mind in my house when you think of spring (not my wife’s fault, LOL). One of the first things that is done when spring gets here and the weather finally warms up. We open windows and let the wind blow through the house. As the wind comes through you see all the dust and dust bunnies stir and seem to come to life.
When you think of the dust of ashes it is not a particularly uplifting image. If the oak tree is the symbol of strength and permanence, dust is the symbol decay, death, and destruction. It is not hard to grasp this feeling of being here one moment and gone the next. Dust is something that can be swept up and tossed away. It can be forgotten, thought of no more and even erased from the world as if it never existed. This causes us to think of our own mortality.
Sitting down to reflect on our own mortality is about as much fun as thinking about dust bunnies. However, as Christians, the Good News is that we do so within the context of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Ashes and dust is not the end of the story. For Christians, death is merely a temporary state, as transient as dust itself. We pass through death into the new life that we share with the resurrected Christ. Which doesn’t mean that death is without regret or pain or grief. We are human after all and we do not want to see our loves ones die or want to rush into death ourselves. But the dust of the grave is not our final destination, it is merely a transition from life on earth to the life of eternity with God.
Dust usually comes about in one of two ways. First, through inactivity. You can find this dust in places in your home that you hardly ever go. You find it in places, like that storage closet, that you almost never use. This dust came about because nothing happens. That is strange when you think about it.
There is also another way to create dust: through activity. That’s how those dust bunnies in your bedroom came to be. Through the activity of everyday life, you create dust. It comes in on your shoes or through the dogs or cats or your clothes; it’s formed when you take that cookbook off the shelf to find a recipe for that great potluck hot dish you are taking to the potluck meals at church on Wednesday night Lenten services. If you are not kicking up some dust, you are not really living.
Consequently, there are two ways to create dust: through inactivity or through activity. The best way to create dust and show the world the love Jesus Christ has for them and us is through being active. This dust happens when you reach out to a friend who’s hurting. When you volunteer your time to touch the life of a child by tutoring him/her. You kick up dust when you sacrifice an afternoon to work on a Habitat for Humanity house. You kick up dust both figuratively and literally. Jesus encourages us to kick up some dust every chance we get to show the world that He truly cares for them. Roll up our sleeves and get involved with the world and the people around us. We might get a bit dirty every once in a while, but that’s okay. Because through our relationship with Jesus we are cleansed and renewed and dusted off. May God Bless you all with His love and strength. Let the dust bunnies flow from the work of Jesus Christ through you.
Pastor Randy Johnson
St. John Lutheran Church
8757 N. Straits Hwy.
Cheboygan, MI 49721
Service times: Saturday NEW TIME 5:00 PM, Sunday at 8:30am and 11am. Please come and join the family of God.