Sins. Breaches of faith. Atonement.
And the priest shall put on his linen garment and put his linen undergarments on his body, and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar. Then he shall take off his garments and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.
This comes up in my scheduled daily Bible reading on Ash Wednesday. I mark the date in the margin of my Bible, just because it is interesting that it presented on this particular day. Nothing to do with Ash Wednesday, it simply records what the priests were to do with the remains of the burnt offerings.
And yet, isn’t that something?
I have no idea that by the end of the day my heart will feel buried beneath a pile of ash, but it’s coming. Texts and phone calls and arguing children remind me of just how broken everything is.
Broken bodies. Broken faith. Broken hearts.
The day ends heavy, full of overwhelming trouble. It is the very thing that would be so easy to escape, rather than engage. And inside I start to do just that. Shut down.
Then morning dawns, and I am reminded in Mark of one who commands the wind and sea, who does care when we feel like we are perishing. I summon the courage to step through the day, even though I am filled with great fear.
Who, then, are you, Jesus, that even the wind and the sea obey? Show me your peace. Help me to be still.