Dust to Dust but Glory to Glory!

From dust you have come, and to dust you shall return. 

Ash Wednesday has taken on a new meaning for me this year as it did last, since my 91 year old mom passed away early in November 2015. There was something that arrested me right in my tracks the day of my mom's funeral. I was undone by deep sobs of realization. And the depth of it had been helped along by the incense and the reverence afforded the treatment of my dear mama's frail little body being put to rest (or so they say).

But it wasn't the finality of it all. It had already been final when she had breathed her last, days before.

No! It was the Sacredness that came crashing through!

My mama's now feeble and even ashen body had been the very dwelling place of GOD!

And that sacredness started long before her death...the sacredness was about the Glory, the Living God Himself, indwelling that humble little person named Jeanette Galuszka Renner year after year, day after day of her joyful, suffering life.

That big gilded family Bible sitting on our coffee table had declared it everywhere:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple [a Holy of Holies] of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? 1 Cor 6:19 ESV

Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col 1:27 NASB

...the Spirit of God dwells in you. Romans 8:9 ESV

But we have this treasure [the glorious Christ] in jars of clay [our bodies], to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  2 Cor 4:7 ESV

And on and on...in fact, it proved true her favorite verse that she had often quoted to me:

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him”—

And then is added...

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. 1 Cor 2:9-10 ESV

Don & Shirley
Don & Shirley

Another "soon to go to Jesus" friend named Don had tried to tell me that very thing. Though his body had been decaying (He had been on at-home hospice for a while), somehow he knew that Jesus was living in that falling apart "dwelling." And he wanted me to write about it.

I have another friend, young but soon "going home." Her dwelling place of God was getting more and more misshapen and failing...oh, but the glory! There was no doubt that when you entered her room, you entered a sacred place where God lived.

All of them...and we too who know our Lord...all sacred places, Holies of Holies of the Living God. And the Glory is there, because HE is there.

It doesn't matter how frail, broken, misshapen we think we may be...we are each a perfect home for God Himself on this earth, despite our "dustiness."

But that's not all...soon very soon, Glory forever!

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV

 

There’s a peace I’ve come to know Though my heart and flesh may fail There’s an anchor for my soul I can say “It is well”

Jesus has overcome And the grave is overwhelmed The victory is won He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name No more sorrow, no more pain I will rise on eagles’ wings Before my God fall on my knees And rise I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near When this darkness breaks to light And the shadows disappear And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome And the grave is overwhelmed The victory is won He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name No more sorrow, no more pain I will rise on eagles’ wings Before my God fall on my knees And rise I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, “Worthy is the Lamb” And I hear the cry of every longing heart, “Worthy is the Lamb”

And I will rise when He calls my name

No more sorrow, no more pain I will rise on eagles’ wings Before my God fall on my knees And rise I will rise