Only a few days ago Christians gathered together to smudge ashes on their foreheads, remembering “you are dust, and you dust you shall return.” During Lent, we take part in remembering our mortality by sacrificing our time, a particular habit, or engaging in a spiritual discipline in order to grow closer to God and to let go of the things keeping us from a relationship with our Creator.
But, if we really think about it, Lent is a weird season for people who follow Christ. We spend most of our time proclaiming the Good News of hope and resurrection, being a people who are unrealistically optimistic (or so we hope, anyways.) However, this season has a somber tone. Ash Wednesday is like a punch in the gut that takes our breath away just long enough for us to remember that in order to participate in the resurrection, we must first participate in death. So during this season we allow things to die like our selfishness, our pride, our addictions….. so that we may make room for new life.
And so today we take a break from our Lenten practices, and we get a glimpse of that new life we wait for. We gather on this day of rest to remind each other of the hope that is coming. Today, we celebrate.