From dust have you come – to dust will you return
Grace and peace to you today! Today is Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. For Christians, this marks a 40-day journey that is intended to remind us that in the midst of living our lives as witnesses and disciples who deeply engage what’s going on in the world, there are also seasons when we need to prepare, reflect and fill our internal reservoirs with the fuel that will sustain our deep engagement. As those of us on the journey towards justice know, the entire race is long and while there will be moments when we sprint; we cannot sustain a sprint the entire way. So Lent is a tangible reminder to proactively remember, reflect and refill.
For Missouri Faith Voices, this Lenten season is also about committing ourselves to the sacred practices of Praying, Fasting and Acting. We want to create space in our Lenten journey for God’s Spirit to invoke in us righteous reflection (that’s the filling up) and evoke prophetic possibilities (this is the pouring out) that realize God’s pronouncement at creation: “It is good!”
In our scripture today, I am compelled to notice that goodness. God intends for us to “live in a land flowing with milk and honey.” It’s an imagery of abundance and perpetuity. The land that we are given, the places in which we live are intended to be flowing rivers in which everyone (please hear it correctly: each one of us) has what she or he needs. That’s why the land is continually referred to as a promise. So, loving God fully, with all of our being (the very basis of what it means to be in relationship with our Creator) is explicitly connected to God’s abundant provision to meet our needs (even more than we can imagine).
Moreover, not only are we to believe and live out the promise of abundance but we are to keep telling this story over and over again to our children and to their children and their children after them. In fact, we are to create symbols that remind generations after us that we are to love God with all that we have and we are promised a land flowing with abundance.
So, as people of faith, have we been telling this story of love and abundance? For faith communities, have we been sharing our story of love and abundance? To my elected leaders, are you creating policies that reflect God’s love and abundance so that proceeding generations can see that we are keeping God’s commandments?
Rev Deth Im (@dethim), CCO Director of Clergy and Congregational Organizing