Ash Wednesday

  • Feb. 6, 2008
  • #6723

On Ash Wednesday, Joni is reminded of her sins and how Jesus died for her.

Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Saviour,
Know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be
some wicked way in me:
Cleanse me from every sin,
And set me free 

Today marks the beginning of the season of Lent and for me it means so much because when I was a little girl our home church was Reformed Episcopalian – a small evangelical congregation that followed the liturgy, yet was very simple and conservative. For us, the Easter season began with Ash Wednesday and there was absolutely no confusion about what that meant. As a child I quickly learned that there could be no happy celebration of Resurrection Sunday until first we understood and appreciated the depth of are need for a Savior... in other words, I learned early on how depraved, how wicked, how sinful my nature really is, even as a little girl. 

And so on Ash Wednesday, we would pile into my daddy's old Buick and head to church for evening services. There were so many, many somber hymns, we would open the Book of Common Prayer and the very first reading for the service was Psalm 32 where it says, "... Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long... but then I acknowledged my sin to you, O Lord, and did not cover it up; I did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' – and you forgave the guilt of my sin." Oh know, friend that verse and several others like it is the way we opened up the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday began that 40-day journey of examining our hearts. Search me, O God, and know my heart today; try me, Savior, know my thoughts I pray. See if there be some offensive wicked way in me; and then cleanse me from every sin and set me free. Looking back that meant fighting with my sisters... fibbing about my chores... maybe a sour attitude about getting up for school... sneaking behind my parent's back... spreading gossip about a classmate. I learned as a child that Jesus did not just generally die for the general sins of the world; He died specifically for me and all my childish wickedness. And fully appreciating what that meant was the way to began Ash Wednesday.

Music: “Search Me, Oh God”. Words: J. Edwin Orr, 1936. Music: Ma­ori, Ma­o­ri tune. Public Domain

© Joni and Friends

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