As I am reading and meditating on this Easy Read Bible translation,
“You will work hard for your food,
until your face is covered with sweat.
You will work hard until the day you die,
and then you will become dust again.
I used dust to make you,
and when you die, you will become dust again.”
...it seems like such a simple thing, that God created us from dust and then one day we become dust again. From the first day to the last day, we work. End of story.
In my meditation, my mind wandered back to 20 years ago. It was one of those sermons you never forget. The storyteller left the altar space, walked down to pew level, knelt on the floor, and told this story: "One day, God thought of you and me in the years far, far away. God thought of all the humans God wanted to love and decided to make it happen." The storyteller bent down and with both hands scooped up a large amount of imaginary dirt. He silently and tenderly worked the dirt in his hands until it became clay; molded it, formed it, and then held high the imaginary form of clay; then lovingly drew it to his breast. He gently but powerfully breathed into it like God’s own life-giving breath, God’s Spirit.
And then the story ends this way, according to Job:
“If God decided to take away his spirit
and the breath of life he gave us,
then everything on earth would die.
We would all become dust again.”
The eternal story, happily, does not end there. The sequel follows, as we read the eschatological visions in Revelation:
” I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, “Now God’s home is with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone. The one who was sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” So Simple. For God.