Jesus of the Ashes

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Lent is a time in the Christian year where we stop. And we are honest. About who and what we are.
There are so many ways to enter this season, so many words that could open that door.

Stop.
Pause.
Pay Attention.

Wilderness.
Dust.
Wandering.

Eat a little less, do a little less, take a little less
And notice the space this leaves.

Rend Your hearts,
not your clothes.

Know your limits, say them out loud,
Refuse to grow alone.

This year I’ve enlisted the help of a lot of people to put together prayers.  Lenten Prayers. Everyday Prayers about everyday places we find ourselves. Prayers that say something to us about being human and welcoming Christ even there.
Prayers that, in their saying, create some free space – so that whatever needs to be held can be held.

Some prayers will be written by writers, poets – maybe some you’ve read before. Some will be written by people you know, people in and around our lives here in Calgary. But they’ve all been prayed and submitted by people in the middle of their regular, working through hard things lives..

You will see, I think, that all these prayers are honest. And maybe honesty is the goal – an honesty of our intentions, abilities, longings, hopes, fears, need. And then inviting – the honesty of our hope. Knowing we are not alone in these lenten spaces.

Some prayers you will love and some might not strike you in any deep way and that is ok. But if you are walking through these days and you would like to take a few minutes to pray – these are here.

To start is a blessing by Jan Richardson – In a season of never being enough this is one I need.   – to accept the grace.  Is that the enough that actually sustains?

2 Cor. 6:1  “As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.”

Blessing the Dust – For Ash Wednesday

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners

or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—

did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?

This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning

This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.

So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
Or for thinking
we are less
than we are

But for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.

 

 

One thought on “Jesus of the Ashes

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  1. Love the thoughts and epic truths in that prayer. Especially watching Mom slowly fade. Its so horrible watching her body not work well anymore, and cause her mental and physical discomfort; But knowing that the powerful Holy Spirit Who never will leave her is still there making her spirit more alive is comforting. Thanks.

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