Special thanks to Dan Clendenin at Journey with Jesus for sharing this poem by one of my favorite theologians, Walter Brueggeman.
Marked by Ashes
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . . This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust; …
Tomorrow is the revelation of Regional Assignments for graduating ELCA MDiv seminarians. I'm really going to be a pastor. With all the excitement and unknown in the coming days, I keep coming back to one of my favorite prayers. I think it resonates with each of us as followers of Christ.