Ashes, Ashes

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Psalm 51:3

Ever on your mind, the memory you just can’t shake. Or maybe you can. When it comes to sin, that destructive disease dwelling inside each of us, sometimes we are quick to push it away. Pretending it wasn’t a big deal is how we deal. The smeared ashes upon the brow of a Christian on Ash Wednesday marks my offense. Smack in the middle of my forehead is a smudge that proclaims my shortcoming. By now, I have been adorned by this blotch for eight hours. Scratch that; my ashes reveal my whole life. Years worth of sinful deficiency summarized by a black streak between my eyes.

But that streak is shaped as a cross. My head and heart have long bore the mark of Christ and Him crucified. At my Baptism, the Lord marked me; branded me one of His Christians. Sins forgiven. Ashes of death defeated by my Lord!

Jesus, forgive my many sins. Amen.

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