Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent. It is on this day that we Christians prepare for forty days of prayer, fasting, repentance, meditate, giving, and discipline. It leads us to Good Friday when we are confronted with the death of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
On Ash Wednesday we traditionally have the sign of the cross wiped on our forehead as clergy remind us, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.” The season begins with death and it ends with the death, that of Christ. Over the next few weeks I want to examine life through the lens of death. I know this sounds morbid, but I have found that it is not possible to understand the world around us without the reality that we will one day die.
At the young age of twenty-nine I do not think of death all that often. I am still at the point where death seems far down the dusty road. I haven’t completed my academic goals. I haven’t entered into my desired career. I have not fathered children. These are check points that seem much closer than the final one at my grave.
To take this journey without thinking about the end seems foolish. If we die then we must ask what matters, what really matters. If we die then relationships are temporal, so are our possessions, and every thing else.
So this is what I will address during Lent. Yes, I will write other posts and no, I won’t write on death every day, but it will be a constant theme. I hope that as I think about death you will join me, for only as we understand the role of death can we understand the role of life.
Also, I have contributed about eighteen devotionals for the San Francisco Lighthouse. They will be posting reflections on the words of Jesus on the cross each day here.