An Ash Wednesday Prayer

Holy God of triumphant greatness. You overpower us. Your pursuit of us is overwhelming and surely it will not be in vain. When we look upon you, we cannot help but see our brokenness and our weakness. Such is the nature of your judgement. But nevertheless, in the midst of our suffocation and depravity, you overpower us with grace and overwhelm us with love. You pursue ashes and bring life from the dust. What can we be but grateful? What can we do but wonder at such love? Nothing in us deserves your love. Rather, your love makes us deserving, your love ascribes value where there is no value. Your love grants harmony to chaos. Your love places hope within a story of death.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dues. What we have here will be taken from us but in you there is new creation. In you, there is resurrection in this lifeless pattern. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. All of this to the glory of your name, the name of the God whose goodness marks us with more than ashes. The God who marks our life with love and places death under foot.

On this Ash Wednesday, may you mark us once again with the hope that dwells in the midst of our depravity. We rely on you, Lord. May our lives reflect our dependence. Our prayer is in the strong name of the one who entered the space between the ashes--the one who came from heaven, became ashes for us, and triumphed. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.