February 14, 2024


Remember You Are Dust

Remember You Are Dust
Trinity Lutheran Church, Greeley, Colorado
Remember You Are Dust

Feb 14 2024 | 00:14:15


Show Notes

Ash Wednesday Morning Worship (with School Chapel)  February 14, 2024

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Grace, mercy and peace be to you from God our father and from our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. [00:00:13] In the last couple months, we've talked a few times about baptism. About Jesus baptism. [00:00:20] You guys remember when Jesus was baptized? What happened? [00:00:28] Were ripped open. They were torn open. And the Holy Spirit came down. [00:00:34] And the voice came from heaven and said, this is my beloved son. With him I am well pleased. And do you remember how that connects to our baptism? [00:00:48] If you are baptized into Jesus, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you're baptized into Jesus, you're united with him. You are joined to him. So when you see the Holy Spirit coming down on Jesus in his baptism, you think of the Holy Spirit coming down on you and your baptism. When you hear the voice of the Father saying, this is my beloved son. With him, I'm well pleased. Well, we're all wrapped up in it with Jesus. We've been united to Jesus in baptism. [00:01:22] And so you can hear God saying to you, because of your baptism, in your baptism, you are my beloved child. [00:01:32] With you. I am well pleased. I'm happy with you. Right. [00:01:37] Okay, so one way that you can say that. That Paul says in Romans chapter six. Maybe you've heard this verse before, maybe you haven't. Listen carefully. [00:01:49] The apostle Paul says you've been united to Jesus in his death and in his resurrection. [00:01:59] Okay, what that means is we've died with Christ, we've died with Jesus, and we've risen with him. We have death in him and we have life in him. [00:02:10] That's important. That's important. Because today on Ash Wednesday, we remember what? Anybody? Remember the word. [00:02:23] Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. [00:02:30] Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. What does that make you? Think of dust being dust. [00:02:37] Anybody? Yes. [00:02:42] Okay, nice try. Nice try. Anybody think of a Bible story that has to do with us being dust? [00:02:50] Yes. Riley? [00:02:58] Lucille? [00:03:02] Yes. The creation of Adam from dust. So how did he make Adam? He said, let us make man in our own image. Hattie? [00:03:17] That's right. He formed him from Earth, from clay, you could say. You could picture it like a potter who's making a bowl, taking the material and forming it, carefully shaping it, just like he wanted. [00:03:32] And then he breathed into Adam the spirit of life, the breath of life. And he became a living being. So that's how we were made. So when we say, remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return, we're remembering how we were made. [00:03:51] And we're remembering our sin in the garden of Eden. Remember Adam and Eve? They sinned against God. And then God said, dust you are, to dust you shall return. [00:04:02] Meaning what God had made, what he had formed from the ground, that was going to go back to the ground. [00:04:09] And that's what happens in this life. [00:04:15] We were born. We get older and older and older, right? And then one day, sooner or later, we will die. We will return to the earth just like God formed us. [00:04:29] We'll return to the earth. [00:04:32] Except as christians, and you can look at your baptism. We know that that's not the end for us, but that God will remake us. Just like Jesus died on the cross and then he rose from the dead. We have the promise that we too, if we die, God will raise us from the dead. [00:04:57] Paul says it this way. He says if the spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he'll raise you from the dead, too. Remember baptism? The Holy Spirit coming down on Jesus in the form of a dove. Think of that with your own baptism. Okay? If the spirit dwells in you, just like he raised Jesus from the dead, he'll raise you from the dead also. [00:05:22] So today on ash Wednesday, we remember that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. And we remember, and we remember that in Christ we'll be raised from the dead as well. [00:05:36] You could think of it as God forming us again. [00:05:42] Forming us again, breathing into us his spirit. [00:05:47] Now, I want to talk about ashes. [00:05:50] Okay? Can somebody raise your hand and tell me where ashes come from? [00:05:55] Eli? Eli. [00:05:58] From palms. That's a very good answer. That's right. But does it look like a palm tree or like a palm branch? [00:06:06] Because it's burned. All right, so ashes are what you get when you burn something. And I bet you if I showed you ashes from a palm branch and ashes from a piece of wood, probably be hard to tell the difference. Maybe. [00:06:24] Okay. [00:06:25] All right, so ashes are what's left when something's burned up. [00:06:31] So think of it this way. [00:06:34] Let's say you had a wooden cup. [00:06:38] You had a wooden cup and you burned it. [00:06:43] Now you would just have a little pile of ashes. Does those ashes look like a cup anymore? [00:06:48] No, but somebody made that cup. [00:06:53] They took a piece of wood and they carved it. Or maybe they put a couple of pieces together into a cup that had a purpose. You could drink with that, and maybe you used it for that, right? You had this cup. You could call it a cup because that's what it is. And you could also do something with it because it had a purpose. And now it's just a little pile of ashes. [00:07:18] So you see how ashes are. It's like the loss of something. Something breaks down and becomes nothing. [00:07:27] Okay? It's like saying God formed us and breathed into us his spirit. He made us. He said, you are a human being. [00:07:41] You are a human being, and you have a purpose, to care for the garden, to have dominion over the creation, to love one another, to love your parents and your siblings, to love your children. He gave us all this purpose. [00:07:59] Okay? [00:08:01] Now, here's what happened, though. When Adam and Eve, when Adam and Eve sinned, what they were saying was, God, I kind of want to make my own purpose. [00:08:15] Can't think today. I've just got, I'm rubbing my cross off. [00:08:22] So when Adam and Eve sinned, what they were saying was, God, we're not going to listen to you, you who made us, you said, this is a human being and this is what it's for. And listen to my word and I'll help you to be a human being. Like I designed you, right? Adam and Eve said, I think I've got my own purpose. I think I want this stuff. I want the fruit. [00:08:50] Right? [00:08:51] You see that? So what they were saying was, it's kind of like if somebody makes a cup, a wooden cup, and you say, this cup is for throwing, right? Is that what the cup is for? No. Right. But if you just decided, I'm going to make this cup, and then throwing it around, it got all beaten up and then it was breaking, and then you just have little pieces of cup and you're doing whatever with it. [00:09:15] You're filing your fingernails or you're, I don't know, digging holes with it or something like that. Well, now we don't really have a cup anymore. [00:09:24] We've just made whatever we want with it. [00:09:27] That's kind of what we did by sinning. That's what Adam and Eve did. They said, yep. Thanks for the. Thanks for the body, thanks for the life. I'm going to do whatever I want, okay? [00:09:38] So God says, I'm going to make you new. [00:09:44] I'm going to make you a new creation. I'm going to restore you to what I meant for you to be in the beginning. [00:09:52] And that's the purpose of Jesus. [00:09:56] That's the purpose of Jesus. So that in Jesus we break down and become nothing. [00:10:01] That's what it means to die. [00:10:04] But in Jesus we are put together the way God meant us to be. That's the resurrection from the dead. So when we are raised from the dead with Jesus on the last day. You know, we're not going to be quite the same that we are today because we will have broken down and God will raise us up and he'll make us new. [00:10:29] So let's talk briefly about what that looks like. [00:10:34] So there's your physical appearance. All right, so I recognize you by the way you look, right? Otherwise, yeah, you all look different. And so I can remember your name. [00:10:48] So there's that. But then there's also. There's a part of you I can't see. [00:10:53] Your thoughts, your desires, what you want, what you think of yourself, what you think of other people, what you know, I can't see how good you are at math or what you know about animals or what you're interested in or what you hope to be when you grow up. I can ask you, you can tell me, but I can't see that, right? So there's this whole other part of you that's invisible. [00:11:20] And the thing is that especially when we talk about dying with Jesus and rising with Jesus, that's especially what we mean, really, because when Adam and Eve turned away from God and they did their own thing, what they were saying was, I want what I want, and I don't care what God says. [00:11:42] That's an invisible inner problem that needs to die. That's what repentance is. So when we put a cross of ashes on our head, on our forehead, what we're doing is saying, God, take away from me all the ideas that I have for myself and all the desires and the fears that aren't right. Take those away, make them nothing. Just like burning a cup to ash. Make it nothing. And then create in me a clean heart, o God. Did you hear that this morning from psalm 51 in our intro? Create in me a clean heart, o God. Right. There was also talk of a broken heart. Like God wants us to have a broken heart. [00:12:30] Our heart would break so that God can remake it. That's what it means. [00:12:35] Today on Ash Wednesday, we don't hold on to our own ideas. We don't hold on to our own desires. What we do is we give it to God. We say, God, shape me by your word. [00:12:50] Let my inner life be reduced to ash and create in me something new, something clean by your word. You see that? And thanks be to God, that's what he does. So every day, as you repent, as you say to God, I'm sorry, right? He shows you what you did wrong. Maybe through a teacher, maybe through your word or through his word as you hear it, okay, but you go oh, I was unkind. And you hear the Bible verse, be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. You hear something like that and you go, I was unkind. Then you say, I'm sorry, God, take that away. Break it up and renew me right? Make me new in Jesus. [00:13:40] That's our prayer every day. [00:13:42] So this is the beginning. This is ash Wednesday, and this is going to last now for some weeks. [00:13:49] Okay. We're going to be focusing especially on our sin and on our need for Jesus. So again, that God would remove all the sin, that he would break this up and remake it, that we would die and be raised new, that he would make us a new creation. In Jesus'name. Amen.

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