“I’m going on a journey, and I’m starting today;
My head is wet, and I’m on my way.”
These words, from a baptism hymn in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, remind me of the grace that accompanies us on our Lenten journeys. Self-reflection, looking at our sin squarely on, and looking especially at those things we’d rather not acknowledge, are important aspects of our Lenten disciplines. We deny ourselves those things that stand in the way of our relationship with God. We seek out ways to allow God more fully into our lives. The strength, courage, and even the willingness to do these things are gifts of God’s grace. We, in the words of the Collect for Ash Wednesday, lament our sins and acknowledge our wretchedness, but that is not the end of the story. God’s mercy, forgiveness, and love are vast—far greater than our feeble human minds can comprehend. Even those sins that have great power over us, or that we may think are unforgiveable, are no match for God’s abundant love. Our journey through acknowledging our own specific sinfulness can be difficult and unpleasant, perhaps even terrifying, but we are always, always wrapped in God’s love, forgiveness, and care. This is good news, indeed!