You are dust and to dust you shall return
By Eradio Valverde
God of the journey, travel with this dear reader as they prepare for deeper understanding of Your love; in Christ Jesus I pray. Amen.
"You are dust and to dust you shall return" can be a moving experience, but it is a part of what these forty days are all about. 1 Peter 3: 18 That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others' sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all - was put to death and then made alive - to bring us to God. 19 He went and proclaimed God's salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment 20 because they wouldn't listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact - saved from the water by the water. 21 The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus' resurrection before God with a clear conscience. 22 Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He's standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.
The journey of Lent begins with a somber reminder of who and what we are. To hear or say the words, "You are dust and to dust you shall return" can be a moving experience, but it is a part of what these forty days are all about. We must grow and mature in our spiritual lives to a deeper understanding of Who God is through Jesus and what God offers to us during this time of the Christian year. To hear those words make some people suffer the fear of their mortality. Add to that the other penitent acts that some add in their fasting or sacrifice, and we begin to understand just a bit of what the writer of this epistle is saying. Christ suffered for us. The sins Christ bore, we caused; they're our sins. Sins that drove Him to the cross where He paid the price for our sinfulness. Our duty is to recognize that we are sinners and need the loving forgiveness that God offers to us.
Turn away from your sin. Recognize that you are not perfect and that only through forgiveness will we fit into God's kingdom. We can't be satisfied with being better persons, we must become new persons through all that Christ did for us.
PRAYER: Loving God I confess I am a sinner and I stand in need of Your loving forgiveness. I desire to be made new not just better. In all of my life, make my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, my every being, new. As the dust grows ever nearer to my journeying feet, make my life count in a way that brings others to You. I pray this in Christ Jesus' precious and powerful name. Amen.
Have a great and blessed day in the Lord!
--Rev. Eradio Valverde, superintendent of the Corpus Christi District of the Southwest Texas Conference
el Intérprete Online, enero-febrero, 2012