February 18, 2015

... And To Dust You [Systems] Shall Return

Congregations across the globe will be observing Ash Wednesday today–the beginning of the season of Lent. We are marked with the sign of the cross on our foreheads and reminded of our mortality. I'm always amazed at how many are willing to admit their human frailty on this day.

We know we are broken. We know that we need to be reminded of this. Even more, we know that we need to be reminded that we cannot do it on our own, we need a helper–a Savior.

But this morning, as I reflect on this last year I wonder if we also might need to reminded of how broken our systems are. Our judicial system is broke. Democracy is broken. Capitalism is broken. Churches are broken.

Certainly, these work for some people. But not enough.

These are systems made up of people like you and I. They are broken as much as we are.

This does not mean we ought to abandon them. Just as we don't abandon our bodies simply because they are imperfect. Rather, recognizing this–embracing this–allows us to see what needs mending, healing.

As we recognize our brokenness today, may we recognize the brokenness of the systems we have created. May we pray for forgiveness, for ourselves–for our complicity or indifference. And may we pray for forgiveness for systems that fail too many.

Recognizing both of these things, I pray we work to be better people, as individuals and together. There's something about admitting our weaknesses that creates room for hope. So, let's get on to confessing our brokenness so that we may contribute all we can to the Kingdom coming.