The Weekly Perspective

by TJ Draper, Deacon

This past Wednesday, the ashes of remembrance shaped in the sign of the cross on our foreheads, provided a reminder of the dust to which we are destined to return. This is not a morbid, introspective self-examination, but a realistic call to face the reality of our condition. And in so doing, it is a natural outworking to consider our short lives, and to refocus on Christ — calling to mind the ways in which we can serve the Lord in more and more maturity and wisdom.

Last week, Pastor Shade called us to consider acts of service — instead of focusing on ourselves, focus on serving others. Our lives as Christians, should, after all, be characterized by service.

Here’s another thing to consider as an alternative to the traditional “giving something up.” We can, instead, incorporate something else of value into our lives by spending some time in the Gospels, in the life of Christ. Lent must culminate in Easter and the resurrection of our Lord, and spending additional time in the gospels of our Lord can certainly serve as a refocusing tool, calling to mind how we are to imitate Him.

Matthew gives us Christ the Priest, teaching and instructing the people. The Gospel of Mark presents Jesus as King, the king who lays down his life in service for others. Luke presents Him as the true Prophet, bringing the gospel to the Gentiles. And finally, the Gospel of John shows us the True Man who loves his brother as true friend.

As we read of Christ’s life, and consider the Lenten reminder, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, we should appreciate that much more what Christ has done for us in His rich mercy. Christ served us, and He in turn calls on us to serve Him, and those around us. Remember that we are dust, that we will return to dust. And yet, because of Christ, we will rise again. That is the reality of Christ!