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It’s a story of just what dust, ashes, dirt, and some water can do.  Over the last four weeks, we’ve heard stories about the dustier parts of life–the muck and mess of humanity, of our brokenness.  We’ve heard stories about water–life-giving water, water that sates the deepest thirst. This week we get a look at what happens when a little dirt, water (more specifically, spit) and faith can do.


Along with the story of the Woman at the Well, this passage, the story of the healing of a man born blind, is one of the longer passages we encounter during Lent. It’s not just a story of healing, but a story of realizing we need to be healed. By the end, the Pharisees ask the question, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” I wonder how often we hold on so tightly to the things we think matter that we lose sight of what really does. Maybe their question is really our own.

It’s a muddy life–this life of faith. But mud can make miracles happen.


For this altarscape, I incorporated elements that I’ve been using throughout the season. The cracked bowl held our ashes at the start of Lent; the candles have shown up several times and, for me at least, point to the Trinity. Start with a table and some base fabric.


Use hymnals or other items to create a base to put the bowl and candles on. Hide it with some fabric.



Add your bowl. PROTIP: Tilting bowls at an angle will help congregants in the pew to better see what’s on the table.


Add some candles.


Finally, I added some grey-brown and muted-blue fabric into the bowl–water and dirt mixing.



This is a week, scripturally speaking, that has the potential to really sum up what Lent is about: our brokenness is no match for dust, ashes, and the water of life. Now that’s some Good News!

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