I'm not really sure how it happened but Ash Wednesday sneaked up on me. I have been thinking about it for weeks, pondering how I would lead our congregation into the season of Lent and what I would give up and take on for the sake of the faith (and for my diet), but somehow I woke up this morning and I was not ready. No ashes for the heads of the faithful. No sermon for the service. And no energy. All I had was this J. Moss song in my head. Click here to listen to the song.
It turned out that the message of that song was the whole point - not my planning, not my pondering, not my preaching. The message of Ash Wednesday, present in the Psalm and in the song, is that we need God to pour out God's mercy. And just as the day caught me unawares, sometimes the level of my need for God's renewal and God's mercy hits me. It's not the first time I realized I need the Lord, but the awareness is so powerful that it almost feels like it's the first time. So, I pray "Have mercy on me, O Lord" - again.