Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Even from the Ash: An Ash Wednesday Liturgical Poem

I love the seasons of the church calendar. They give my life a sacred rhythm and keep me focused and centered on my identity as a disciple of Jesus dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit.

Yet this year It feels like I have encountered a liturgical slap to the face. One minute, "God with us" at Advent; a month and a half later we are dust and launch into Lent.

Nonetheless, I love Ash Wenesday. I am reminded that Jesus meets my ashen self and draws me close as I seek to follow the Messiah on the dusty road. So here is some liturgical poetry I wrote for worship tonight:

Even from the Ash (liturgy as poetry)

Remember you are dust
to dust you shall return

What about resurrection
What about life everlasting
What about all things being made new

Remember you are dust
to dust you shall return

40 days of confession
40 days of repentance
40 days of longing

for light
for hope
for promised new creation

Remember you are dust
to dust you shall return

We are the created
not the Creator
we were made from the earth
the earth we did not make

Remember we are dust
to dust we shall return

six days of the week
we fast
we pray
we remember

the world is not all right
children are hungry
violence and war are everywhere
suffering and injustice plague God's image bearers

Remember we are dust
to dust we shall return

Each Sunday a glimpse of resurrection
Easter yet to come
almost here
but not quite yet

So grieve and lament
become unsettled
not paralyzed by fear
live into God's dreams for a different world

Remember you are dust
to dust you shall return

Ashes bid us humility
Lent beckons us forgiveness
Solemn liturgy illumines the cross
Somber season directs us to our Savior's cost

Remember we are dust
to dust we shall return

So we wait and ponder
We linger and consider
We trust God's promise
Confident God will deliver

Remember you are dust
to dust you shall return

God goes with us on our Lenten journeys
Sustains us through our fasts
Jesus meets us in our wanderings
Holy Spirit comforts us at last

Remember we are dust
to dust we shall return

Today we pick up cross and carry
We follow Christ as dusty travelers
Yet we don't lose hope as Lenten pilgrims
God can resurrect us

even from the ash.


Related Posts

Matisyahu and Ash Wednesday
Between the Panes: Wendell Berry and Ash Wednesday
Why Ash Wednesday (Relevant Magazine)

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