This Children’s Sermon was given virtually on Ash Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021, to help explain Ash Wednesday to children.

Good evening, girls and boys. What a treat to get to talk with you today about Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of getting ready for Easter, a mystery that is so holy that we get 6 weeks to get ready. Those 6 weeks are called Lent.

Did you see anyone wearing a cross of ashes on their forehead or their hand today? Maybe you had a minister make a cross on your forehead.  I did. See?

And as Pastor Camille put this cross on my forehead, she said something interesting. Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.

It reminded me of the story of the Bible. The one that’s like a poem, that says after God made Earth and heaven, he took dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became alive a living soul!

It’s an interesting thing to imagine, that we are made from dust. And one day we’ll be dust again. We don’t live forever, do we? One day we’ll go back to God, and our bodies will turn to dust again.

Why is being dust and returning to dust important to talk about as we’re getting ready for Easter? Why do we wear a cross of ashes?

We know a cross is in the Easter story. But usually in church our crosses are pretty. Crosses with ashes look messy, like when I write with a pencil or pen and then drag my hand over it. It’s all smudged.

This year like every year, we’ll be spending the next six weeks getting ready for Easter in Zoom Sunday school by remembering the stories of Jesus’s life. We want to be like him. We want to love like he did, and be generous, and stand up for people, and forgive people. But we are messy. We just can’t do it. We lie, we hurt people’s feelings, we call people names. We don’t always act loving. We ask God’s forgiveness and we try again.

We’re messy like this cross. Maybe the cross reminds us that no matter how hard we try, it’s God who is the champion of love, not us. We need God’s help!

So we walk into Lent, towards Easter, with a cross on our forehead, it’s a way to tell God, this is who we are God. We try to love like you, but we can’t get it right. We need you God. We know you God can make something beautiful out of anything, even us.

Let’s pray together: Dear God, today we’re remembering how much we need you. Thank you for forgiving us. Please take our mess and make something beautiful. We love you, God. Amen.