Many Christian churches around the world will be recognizing Ash Wednesday tomorrow (Feb 18). This is the beginning of the 40 day season of Lent (40 days not including Sundays) culminating in the vigil of Easter and then Easter itself the next day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.
The season of Lent is one when we remember our mortality and to focus on our sinfulness. Reminders are placed on foreheads as people are marked with ashes; signifying the curse of sin which was pronounced to Adam and Eve (and all humanity) in Genesis 3, “from dust you came and to dust you shall return”. Through our willful disobedience to God we have incurred the penalty of death. Our bodies are subject to decay and thus will perish someday.
But this is not the end…
The mark of the curse is made in the form of the cross signifying our redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Earlier in Genesis 3, when God was cursing the serpent for his actions; ones that drew Adam and Eve into temptation; God announced his plan of redemption:
 I will put enmity between you (the serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring (Jesus); he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
The offspring of the woman is Jesus.
The heel bruising is Jesus being crucified.
But the head bruising is Jesus defeating death through his resurrection.
The serpent, Satan, will be destroyed for his part in corrupting God’s beautiful and perfect creation. In the mean time, we will be subject to death and the rule of Satan, but through faith in Jesus, we will taste victory.
So Lent begins with a curse but ends with victory; but in order to know this victory we need to accept our fallen sinfulness and Lent is a time to focus on that. So remember who you are AND know who Jesus his. The curse of death is not forever. The victory has been won and has been given to you.
Praise be to God and Amen!
The Pastor -|—