Friday, February 19, 2016
He has thrown me into the mud. I’m nothing more than dust and ashes. Job 30:19 (NLT)
Most events at church will warm our hearts; at other times what happens can light-up the soul. A preacher (friend of a friend) on a Facebook post last week, the day after Ash Wednesday service, shared one of those “electric” moments.
Here’s her post:
Now, you know that was good-natured teasing about the Taser!
Another round of dust, ashes and electricity, please – well, isn’t that what we do? Every year?
Job felt God had abandoned him – even worse, thrown him back to the mud from which he’d been created. The dust had all but returned to the dust, and Job experienced first-hand what we shoot for when we cover our foreheads with ashes on that Wednesday in bleak mid-winter; that we, too, are vulnerable – just bits of electricity flowing between the dust of creation and the ashes of mortality. Pastor Nancy’s church member just got a little “extra jolt” of remembrance.
That we sometimes miss the mark with what we do is evidenced by the man’s wife asking for a little higher voltage on the next round! (Insert smiley face here!)
Church can be pretty tame when we stick to the printed program and stay in our seats. Usually the “electric” moments come when we’re moving around and get close to one another. I can easily think of at least a dozen or so memorable moments centered on baptism or communion, when children get near a chalice full of grape juice…or even comments at the back door when the service is over.
I baptized a rather large man by immersion one time, and he got a little frantic going under the water. He nearly pulled me under with him, along with my wired microphone. I could have been Tasered and drowned in the same church event!
Things happen when you get close!
And that may be the rub about Lent; the sparks can fly when we begin to get as close to God as we say is our intention.
So, were there “sparks” last Wednesday as you stood close enough for the preacher to dab ashes on your face?
If not, there’s still time left in Lent to invite God to charge the Taser for your next round.