(Reposted and is back by popular demand!)
“Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear sister here departed, Mary E. Tankard, we therefore commit her body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life…” (Book of Common Prayer 1662)
The Late Co-Pastor Mary E. Tankard, , Musician, Songwriter, Composer, Choreographer, Writer
I remember these words as we stood around the casket of our dear mother at the cemetery during the committal service. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It brought to my mind something I heard a minister say once. He said “We are nothing but a speck of dust on borrowed breath.” The emphasis is the word “dust”. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
If you don’t believe that you are dust, just look down at the water that swishes around your feet when you are in the shower. You will see the dust particles. Try this. Take a shower and then wait three hours later and take another one. Even though you are still clean, you will see dust particles in the water anyway. If you still don’t believe that you are dust, investigate what happens after a corpse has fully decomposed after death. Once again there is dust.
But this is more important. What kind of dust are you? What kind of life are you living? Are you a nurturer? Are you an encourager or are you malicious? Are you jealous, envious, unforgiving, slanderous, conceited, disobedient, proud, boastful, or ungrateful? Are you living a life of harmony, peace, love, joy, patience, long suffering, or happiness? I remember my mother as one who showed hospitality, love, and concern. She visited nursing homes and hospitals on Saturdays. She was an elegant caregiver. That was her flavor. Now that her body has now been committed back to the ground(dust) I can say that I am pleased with her flavor. Her flavor has impacted my life forever. I hope that God is pleased with her flavor and hopefully it was a sweet smelling savor in his nostrils. What flavor of dust are you?