Today is Ash Wednesday.
Today we remember where we came from and where we will return to when we die.
Today we remember we are mortal: our time on this earth is brief. We remember our sins and we remember our Savior.
When we think of creation, we often think of the presence of God the father. But our belief in the Trinity is a reminder that all three persons were present at the creation of the universe.
It is mind-blowing to think about it and even more challenging to explain it, so I point you to Scripture:
“26 Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” – Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
Did you see?
“Let us make mankind in our image…” It was not just the Father at the beginning, but it was the son and the Holy Spirit as well. Man was created in the image of the Trinity.
Here it is again in John 1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:1-5 (NIV)
Jesus is the Word. And He was there at the creation of the world. Even though the physical person of Jesus is not seen until the narrative of the Gospels, we can remember his presence throughout history since the beginning of time.
As creations of God, we are special. We have been made in His likeness. But sin has marred our understanding of what it means to truly be like God.
Today we remember our sin.
And the words used during the imposition of ashes come from the very passage in which God reminds Adam and Eve of their disobedience and where we are reminded that we are sinful and though in the image of God, we are not gods ourselves.
“‘By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.’” – Genesis 3:19
On this somber day of remembrance, I will focus on Jesus as Creator who has been with us since the beginning. He saw the first time that man disobeyed God. He forgave the first sin and since the beginning of the world has been promised as the one who would save our sins.
Although we will not live forever, when we return as dust to the earth, we will live eternally with our Creator in heaven.
This hymn verse came to my mind as a wonderful close to these thoughts:
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,
the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy
health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to His temple draw near;
Sing now in glad adoration!