Lent is a story of ashes and bread.
During lent we remind ourselves we are made of dust and to ashes we return. These molecules of ash were fused together by the hand of God, breathed into with the Spirit of God, and thus humanity came to be. Beings of ash and divine wind. We live on bread, and to dust we return… and into the dust the Son of God came.
The idea that the Bread of Life chose to come and be made up of the ashes and dust of humanity speaks loudly of what compassion is. The Son of God became one of us, entered into the wilderness of our daily lives, was crushed and spent on our behalf… so that we might have life. The bread of heaven becoming nourishment for the people of dust.
Lent won’t let us forget that into our wilderness God became human.
We fast because we want to remember that God is our sustainer and we are not yet in the promised land. We fast because Jesus did.
At lent we remind each other: the Light of the World suffers with us – we who are made of ash and dust – bringing us into the promise of a better land, the very wilderness of sin refined into God’s garden.