The strong message of today is of repentance; Greek metanoia, meaning a total change of mind and heart, in the inner being. The Hebrew word has a wider connotation: to be sorry, to regret, to think better of something, to change. All of these shades of meaning can enrich our understanding of what is happening today when we receive ash on our foreheads, as a sign of our mortality (‘dust thou art’) and the need to be reconciled with the God who loves us and has died for us.

May God bless your Lent, and may it be a time of real renewal for you in your walk with God.