How strong the sun is at midday! Imagine walking in it with no parasol, no bottle of water, no clothes. Imagine there is no refuge in the trees or in a house. Without any such protection, the midday sun could kill us.
At the same time, the light of the sun is necessary for the life of all living things. Without the light and warmth of the sun, the trees and grass would not grow. Soon there would be no food for anyone. Also we need sunlight to avoid dangers in the way, for example, potholes and cliffs from which we may fall.
This is the point of the text for this Ash Wednesday. The light of God's holiness is much stronger than that of the midday sun. Without protection, the light of God's holiness will burn us and leave only ashes. That is why the ashes on our foreheads symbolize our weakness before God, our sinful nature that cannot endure the pure light of the Most Holy.
But we also need the light ofGod in our lives. It is the light of life and joy, without it everyone would be lost forever.
The mark of the cross signifies that Christ is our protection. God has called us to walk in the light of His holiness. How can we do this? If we cover ourselves with the righteousness of Christ. He suffered and died on the cross for this purpose, to pay the price for our redemption. Because of Christ, when we have faith in Him, when God sees us, He sees only the righteousness of Christ. With Jesus Christ as our covering, we may walk in the light without fear.
However, still we have our sinful nature until the end of this earthly life. So if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
But because of Christ, if we confess our sins, God, Who is faithful and just, will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Amen.
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