“Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” These are the words of Ash Wednesday. They are the words said over us as we receive the ashes reminding us of our mortality. We are reminded that we are not eternal creatures, for we have sinned and the wages of sin is death.
In the beginning, God did not intend for Adam and Eve to return to dust; God did not intend for humans to die. God placed Adam and Eve into his garden and gave them dominion over all he had created. Yet, it seems this was not enough, Adam and Eve faced the power of temptation and fell into the grasp of death. Giving in to the powers that defy God, they ate from the forbidden tree and brought sin into the world.
Since this time in the garden, all humans are born into sin and we cannot escape the penalty of death on our own. We will return to the dust from which we were so wonderfully made. God, however, does not leave his people abandoned; he saves his children from the power of death through the sacrifice of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Yes, we shall return to dust, but through Christ, God forgives our sin, and though we die, he raises us to a new, abundant and eternal life.
Thank you Father, for your grace that comes through Christ our Lord. Amen.