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Formed from the Dust & Life-Giving Breath by Rev. Arlyn Rusche- Active Faith Introvert


Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return


When you think of dust, you think of dirt. When you think of dirt, you think of messiness. Dirt is “dirty”. Dirt is not clean, and it makes a mess wherever it goes. To think of ourselves as “dust” is not a highly sought after characteristic.


The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 1:7)


Thankfully, it was not simply the dust of the earth that gave us our lives. Yes, our physical stature was formed from the dust of the earth, but the greater part of our life being was given to us through God breathing into us the breath of life.


Which do we focus on more – our mortality, or the gift of God’s spirit/breath being breathed into us? I believe that many of us choose to dwell on the phrase “you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. We see our lives dismal and in a state of despair. We struggle with our brokenness and imperfections. We get frustrated that we don’t have it all together.


Yet, the phrase we reflect upon simply states a truth about our beginning – we were formed from dust, ashes, essentially “nothing”. It then states a truth about our end – we will return to this state of dust. Until that final day, though, what is it that took place? God breathed into us the breath of life. Not only the breath of life, but the very spirit breath that encompasses God.


During this Lenten journey, we again are granted the opportunity to return to the Lord. To return, though, not just to an awareness of the dust/ashes that formed us, but to an awareness of the life that has been granted to us. Furthermore, we know the full story and what takes place at the end. Death, though immanent for us all, is not the finale. We may return to the dust, but the promise of eternal life – the life-giving breath – is also returned to us.


The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 1:7)


Let us celebrate the life-giving breath that is granted to us as we journey to the cross once again.

Blessings,

Pastor Arlyn

Scripture Notes taken from the NIV Translation

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