Homily notes for Ash Wednesday, February 25:
Marked with a smear of carbon, scaled back to the most basic components of life, we begin again our journey through Lent. The readings talk about repentence and the blotting out of sins, which can make our comfortable selves squirm a bit. Nonetheless, as we look around us, the damage that we can do to our relationships with God, with one another, with creation, is obvious. Now is the time to take ourselves back to our origins, where we ourselves are begun, continued, and ended in God, so that the same may be said of all our works.
Sin is too often treated as a laundry list of personal peccadillos. The Nashville Cohort had a wonderful discussion about this last month. If we believe the scriptures today (Acts 3, John 3), sin and repetance are about a lot more than how many times I lied to my brother and if I am going to hell. Rather, we hear about the restitution of all things, being born of the Spirit, and that God intends to bless all the kindreds of the earth in us.
How shall such marvels come to pass? Maybe this Lent will take us a bit deeper into the mysteries of the wind of the Spirit, which bloweth where it listeth, defying our plans, overturning our comfortable identities, loosening the knots we tie in ourselves, and leaving us wondering at the new creation in its wake.