this day of dust and ashes

We thank You, our God,
for this day of dust and ashes, itself now passing—
this annual reminder of our own deaths.
We thank You for the gift of our living
indicated on each dusty death marked forehead—
each day lived and gone.

So in the juxtaposition
of dust first inhaling life
and dust’s final exhalation,
we breathe our prayer of awe and thanks
for what we know You do with dust,

and thank You for ongoing creation—
for all the dust into which You still breathe life
even into ours.

We thank You for the hope thus generated,
the faith thus sustained,
the love we continue to know—
in Jesus’ name,
amen.

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