Today is Ash Wednesday, which begins the liturgical season of Lent. Many of our congregations across Ohio come together tonight for an Ash Wednesday Service. One of the traditional scriptures for the worship is Psalm 51, a prayer to God of confession, repentance, and a plea for renewal. Verse 10, perhaps the most famous line of the Psalm, reads, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” (NRSV) While it was written in a personal tone, with what is happening in our world at this moment in history it takes on a powerful communal quality. With the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia first and foremost on our hearts and minds, but also the multiple assaults on the rights of transgender and LGBTQ+ children and youth around the country, we have very specific reasons why we should confess, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”
The Christian Church in Ohio joins with all who commemorate Ash Wednesday and engage in Lenten spiritual disciplines. We mourn the violence and death, the disregarding of human rights, and the division that results from human greed, fear, and selfishness. We pray that through honesty, accountability, and justice that we will be able to affirm the plea, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” May the entire season of Lent be one of renewed conversation and action on behalf of our world in crisis, and may everything we pray, think, and do lead us toward a grand and glorious resurrection of hope.
May it be so. Amen.
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