Ash Wednesday Prayer


by Robert Paul Fugarino

Lord, all year we try to avoid dust and ash.
     Dust is the homes we have failed to clean
     and our broken dreams long abandoned.
     Ash is the world engulfed in flames
     and ancient bodies in unmarked graves.

Lord, all year we try to avoid dust and ash,
     But here we are. And here you are. And it is Wednesday.
     And we face reality.

And you insist dust and ash be pressed to our flesh.
     We are fragile failures one day
     to be scorched by fire and snacked on by worms.
     Yet when it becomes too heavy,
     you whisper in our ears true things that are also sweet:

“It was into dust and ash I breathed and you awoke.”
     Breathe again, Lord,
     and command us fragile failures to walk on.
     Lord, let us remember it all —
     dust and ash, death and deliverance,

And especially you.

Permission is granted for use in corporate setting. Copyright © 2012 The Upper Room. Used with permission.

Robert Paul Fugarino is the Pastor at Park Hill Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kansas City, Missouri and has served congregations in different parts of the U.S. for almost twenty years.

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