Ash Wednesday: A Message from Bishop Roger

Ash Wednesday

Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart. (Joel 2:12)

What a sense of urgency! “Turn to me,” God calls. “Turn to me now!” Why so serious? Are we such terrible sinners? Are we in worse shape than we were last Lent? What’s so important about turning back to him that God presses us to do it right away? Only this: he is “gracious and merciful . . . rich in kindness” (Joel 2:13).

Lent often gets a bad reputation. What with all the fasting, repentance, and self-denial, it can seem like one gray day after another for six long weeks. But the main purpose for this season is God’s work of grace, not our acts of humility. More than anything else, Lent is a time of favor from heaven—and that’s especially so during this year as we seek fervently God’s mercy!

Lent offers us forty days for God to reveal himself. Forty opportunities for us to draw closer to Jesus. Forty days for the Father to shower us with mercy, love, and healing.

God’s mercy is an urgent matter during Lent. He wants to do wonderful things in our lives, and it’s more likely to happen if we take the time to “return” to him. So make yourself available to God, and let him fill you up. Here are four spiritual resolutions you can make that will help you do just that:

  • Spend time each day in personal prayer, praising and thanking God for his love and grace.

  • Examine your conscience daily, and repent of any sins that keep you from reflecting God’s presence to others.

  • Devote some time each day to reading Scripture and asking the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.

  • Make it a point to participate in the life of the Church through the liturgy and parish involvement.

“Lord, we want to respond to your urgent call! Help us to turn to you this Lent. Jesus, reveal yourself to us and change our hearts. Amen”

I remain yours in the power of the risen Lord,


Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes