At first glance Lent may seem kind of grim – I mean, what’s all this fasting, penance, sackcloth and ashes and all that about? Is Lent really just the revenge of the dour-faced hell-awaits-you fire and brimstone types?
In reality Lent is the most beautiful season of hope – it’s about turning back to God, about a clean, fresh start, about immersing ourselves in the reality of his immutable love for us.
All of us are within the reach of His mercy, no matter what we’ve done. No deed is too dirty, no secret too dark, no pain beyond the cleansing, healing power of His mercy.
Take a look at the reading from today’s morning prayer:
Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim; redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.
Lent is all about hope; about fresh starts; about the sure knowledge that God’s mercy is boundless, his love is sure; that He is always calling to us.
Today is a great day for that fresh start!