Lent – Salvation from the Dust

As we begin the season of lent, let’s carry close to the front of our vision our need for redemption. In a world that thrives on living as if we’ll never die, Lent is our companion for safe passage past our illusions and into the arms of a loving God; a God who was broken so that all things may be made new and spared from dust.

Dust is an interesting thing. It’s the end point of all temporal and material things. Death is the doorway and death’s living room is lifeless dust, however absurd that sounds. Therefore we avoid death’s doorway at all costs and the way we cope is to keep it from the front of our minds.

This Jesus person did an extraordinary job of calling us past the illusions of life as we know it. He forces us to the dance floor to tango with death. He urges us to not be afraid, even though our natural instinct is to deny or flee our eventual dance partner. In fact, he promises us that in dancing with death, we find our life. He proves this to us by leading the way past the dust. Therefore, the faithful, in preparation for the event that is Easter, enter lent with dust on our foreheads to remind us of this part of our human experience. We are dust.

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Jesus

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” the Apostle Paul

Let’s make our way in humility to the dance floor in full recognition that we need saving and consider the dust against the backdrop of the eventual healing of all things. These are two facets to God’s plan for the restoration of all things.

This song helps us consider Dust.

http://music.hopeandsocial.com/track/dust-3 

 

 

Dust and Dreams


“You could not perceive,
how to be
Just rest in this and I will
give you eyes to see
In dust is hope,
just so you know
And I will pull you through
if you let go…
Dust and dreams….”

 

 

There is a frail and fine line that separates our dreams from dust. Although we would like to think they are worlds apart, in reality it is quite the opposite. In fact, we tend to believe things are just fine and we fight to hold on to our dreams, even when our realities are crumbling. Coming to terms with the reality of dust is too overwhelming for us, so we create illusions and get in bed with denial to maintain our dreams.

What is dust? Is it shattered dreams, a failing marriage? Death? I think it's all of those and ultimately we spend our lives building castles in the sand that we think will stand the test of time free from dust, but they don't. Although we long to live forever, our lives, it seems, are fashioned toward eventual dust. Many realize a foretaste of dust in the shattering of dreams along the way. Suffering, in this sense, is part of the human experience. Lament and loss are realities that we need to learn to live with. This is hard to bear and in the thick of it, dust is a substance that wont let us see past it. Dust is disorienting.

In a cloud of dust, if you try and clear it by flailing, you will fail and go mad. With every attempt to escape dust, we stir up more and cause increased suffering for ourselves. Our impulse is to fight it, to plan an escape, to find an answer for why we are in it, or how we will get out. It's futile. The dust has a way of razing our wills along with our lives. Dust demands we wait… until it settles, until the smoke clears, until we are transformed by it. Waiting in the dust gives hope a chance to work its way in.

Most people fear the dust because it represents the greatest loss of the hope we had. Dust is death. Fortunately there is a rumour circulating out there about a God that conquered dust and death. Rumour has it that the way out is through waiting in the dust and calling on the one that saves – calling in agony and despair – for this lament is honest and real. In the right time, new hope enters our dust in the form of a loving God to reveal new possibilities. Whether its the dust of broken dreams or death itself, God is the one who takes the dust and fashions new hope that leads to joy and a restored future. This is the power of the resurrection of Jesus. Be hopeful, even if its dusty where you are.

Have a listen to a song called “Dust” by Hope and Social that has gripped me this last week. http://music.hopeandsocial.com/track/dust-3