Run with endurance the race that is set before you, looking to Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross. Hebrews 12:1-2
In Holy Baptism, Jesus brands us as His. Washing us clean through water and Word, He stamps His sign upon His new creation. A cross upon the forehead to mark us. An indelible imprint seen clearly and brightly every time the Lord looks your way. It’s not something that is regularly seen by anyone else. Oh, you can see traces of it when we serve in love. But all too often the mark is obscured by our lack of love.
Such lovelessness brings our demise. Death is the just reward for our bankrupt words and actions. Ashes, smeared upon the forehead of believers, remind us of mortality. From dust to dust. Cross-shaped, this smear of ashes is a visible reminder of who we are: Christ’s new creation. Let us run the race He has set before us.
Jesus, please run the race with me. Amen.