Clement of Alexandria: We are dust

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As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14

“Some rise up, saying that the Lord, by reason of the rod, and threatening, and fear, is not good; misapprehending, as appears, the Scripture which says, “And he that feareth the Lord will turn to his heart;” and most of all, oblivious of His love, in that for us He became man. For more suitably to Him, the prophet prays in these words: “Remember us, for we are dust;” that: is, sympathize with us; for Thou knowest from personal experience of suffering the weakness of the flesh.”

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) in Paedagogus (The Instructor) 1.8.1 (translated by Roberts and Donaldson).

Coming off Ash Wednesday, when we start Lent in a posture of repentance, it’s a good reminder that we are dust. It is right for us to fear the Lord. He is awesome and to be treated with reverance. We get to participate in extending God’s generosity but sometimes we mistake ourselves for the Source.

God forgive us for acting as gods. Rebuke us for arrogant words. Discipline us for living like we are in control. Awake us for we are oblivious of your great love. Sympathize with us in our weakness. Meet us in our brokenness. Help us, by your Spirit, walk in the way of Jesus this Lent. Amen.

Need a guide for Lent? Visit this link to download my free daily devotional, Lent Companion. The instructor, Clement of Alexandria, would urge you not to misapprehend the life made possible by the work of Christ on the cross. In Lent, we learn how giving, prayer, and fasting combine to ignite generous living.