A Sermon for Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, March 3, 2022

By: David H. May, Rector



The church in Corinth about drove Paul crazy. That congregation was divided into warring factions – bickertons – who all knew better than the other about the mystery of Jesus and his power. Each faction was certain that they – unlike the other factions – possessed the truth. Paul fired back – especially in his 2nd letter to them – that they had got it all wrong. Not their bickering and infighting and backbiting. That is to be expected of people even in the church. No, Paul, thundered at them, ‘I proclaim Christ and him crucified’ – and by that he means, the power of Jesus sacrificing love, love that led him to lay down his blameless life for those who bear much blame. The power of sacrificial love is the same power that gave birth to the sun and moon and stars and this good earth and you and me, and it is the only power than can save us from ourselves. The love of Jesus. So, ‘Be reconciled to God’ for Jesus’ sake.

Reconciliation, by the way, is the reunion of people who are separated from one another but are meant to be together. (We are in a new time when that seems all but impossible. The old chorus from fallen Eden is our daily food and drink: It’s your fault, no it’s your fault! You’re worse than me and besides you started it. No, you’re worse than me and you started it. It’s an endless, loveless, hopeless cycle that traps people inside it with a kind of centrifugal force, like the way a black hole in space spirals all matter – including light – into its dark mysterious annihilating depths.

Which, admittedly, is a pretty grim image. Am I saying there’s no way out?

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