Thursday, February 22, 2007

ash wednesday

Great hOME service for Ash Wednesday last night. Some of us had to go home and sleep it off as you can see from the picture above!

We've done the whole imposition of ashes thing for the last three years but last night it seemed to be particularly powerful for me.
When Andy, who was standing next to me, 'ashed' me and said the traditional words over me - "remember you are but dust, and to dust you shall return" - I found it very moving. Those words can seem quite depressing but last night they were words of real freedom for me.
In a world where there is enormous pressure to make something of ourselves, to be significant...where we so often have over-inflated ideas about our own importance - there is tremendous freedom to be found in being reminded that we are but dust and to dust we shall return.
It's all radically okay - as Richard Rohr reminds us. We are not the saviour of the world, it doesn't all depend on us, and our lives are not more important or more significant than anyone else's.
For me - to be reminded of that - particularly having just returned from a Diocesan thing where there was a certain expectation for us to paint a pretty picture of what we're doing and in a sense justify our existence - was enormously liberating.

Kinda takes the pressure off don't you think?

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