Friday, February 19, 2021

Devotional for First Sunday of Lent

 First Sunday Devotional 

By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.
Genesis 3:19

We have been reminded this year that we are dust. Our frailty, our mortality, has felt so visceral and clear over the past 12 months. We have lived in the uncertainty of the unknown, suffered the pain of loss, and struggled with our own lack of answers. We have felt fragile, and the world has felt beyond our control.

And yet, I remind myself: COVID-19 is organic, it is evolution, and it is creation. The same breath that transmits this virus is the breath I have learned to think of as Spirit: ruach, pneuma, the same breath that moved over the waters in Genesis. The Spirit moves, even as we cover our mouths and noses to protect ourselves from a virus we struggle to understand.


Scripture tells us that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. The dust that greets my face on the wind during one of our gusty New Mexican spring days is the same dust to which I am intrinsically connected. Our relationship with creation cannot be separated, even as we struggle to understand how to be in relationship with a virus that seems to have no conscience.

I’m not sure how we begin to live in this creation in a new way. We have become accustomed to controlling--perhaps even conquering--nature, and this recent loss of control is scary and has resulted in so much pain and loss. Yet, when the book of Revelation talks about a “new heaven, and a new earth,” I wonder if this is our invitation into a new relationship with creation around us. Creation is a part of us, and we are a part of it. We cannot continue to live as if we are separate.

Almighty God, Spirit moving around us, draw us into right relationship with creation. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear you calling us into the dust. Amen.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Luke Rembold is an avid hiker and explorer who seeks the beauty in God’s creation. Luke credits a year as a PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Tucson, AZ, for molding his call to ministry. He currently serves as the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator for the Presbytery of Santa Fe, guiding the Albuquerque site of the YAV program and supporting youth leaders in the vital work of youth ministry.

Photo courtesy of Luke Rembold

No comments:

Post a Comment