Scripture and the history of the Church tell a different story. A story of the growth of the church and the spread of Christianity through suffering and, yes, even death. And we would do well to take a lesson and be emboldened by this story, for it is the story of our Lord Jesus Himself, the story into which we have been baptized, and the story which cup of suffering we partake with Him unto eternal life and are joined with the saints who have gone before us from ashes to ashes and await the day when they, with us, will be raised from the ashes.
To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Ash Wednesday, "Up from the Ashes," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3700