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Students sitting outside Bockman

February 2018

Dust to Dust

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. 

These words from the Ash Wednesday liturgy bring us face to face with a truth we spend too much of our lives trying to ignore: our time is fleeting, each moment a gift from God. 

It is stark and unsettling, but also liberating. In a world of distractions—of 24-hour news cycles and boring staff meetings and social media arguments and advertising on every surface and fast-moving deadlines and never-ending obligations—the season of Lent is a time carved out to slow down, reflect, and accept. 

In particular, it is a time to accept the things we have pushed aside: fractured relationships, sin, grief. Our own fallibility and frailty. The darkness we see around us, and perhaps most disturbingly, within us. It is discomfiting to be sure, but in acknowledging our brokenness and vulnerability, we lay it all down at the foot of the cross of our broken and vulnerable Christ. 

At Luther Seminary, we enter this Lenten season reflecting on our humanity. Many faith communities and institutions are facing periods of transition, and Luther Seminary is not exempted. Yet there is freedom in accepting this moment for what it is: a time to remember that for all our imperfect efforts, what comes next is not up to us, but God. We are dust indeed, but ours is a God who breathes life into dust and causes the dead to rise. 

May our Lenten journeys take us deep into the heart of our humanity and ultimate hope.

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