I am about to write something very impolite.
You are going to die. I am going to die. We are all going to die.
I know this is one of those things we are not supposed to say in polite company. It is depressing…it is morbid…and let’s face it: it is unsettling to hear. But, it is true: we are all going to die. We are all mortal. The days we have are not limitless. One day we will find that it is our last day.
I am of the opinion that all good theology begins with truth-telling, and so as we look toward the beginning of Lent (that great season that leads up to Easter) and as we prepare ourselves to try to say something about resurrection on Easter morning, we begin with the truth-telling of Ash Wednesday: a day when we come together and mark ourselves with ashes, and remind ourselves that we are mortal: we come from the dust and we will return to the dust. We remind ourselves that life is limited.
Recently I saw a video that explains this very succinctly. Give it a watch.