I never thought much about it, but they learned about washed cars from me. I always wash my car before a funeral. Maybe it is because if there is a procession to the cemetery, my car is near the front of the line, and maybe it is something more. I’ve come to understand my habit of washing the car for a funeral is some small effort on my part to bring order and control to a situation that is beyond control. Death, we see from Genesis, is a curse. It is a curse that we don’t handle very well at all, and we’ll try everything- even cleaning the car, to bring some order to the chaos.
On Ash Wednesday, we pause to remember the curse we are under, (You are dust, and to dust you shall return), and we acknowledge our inability to overcome the curse on our own. That’s what confession of sin is all about- looking outside ourselves for a solution to the curse we face. On Wednesday, we’ll slow down and remember our need, calling on the Lord for mercy and grace. He alone has the solution to the curse. The situation may be out of our control, but it is not out of his control. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the curse is defeated, and we have new life in him.
In overcoming the enemy of death, all our efforts amount to nothing compared to the grace we have received from him.
By grace alone,