Lent is about looking into the mirror. Not the compact in your purse or the mirror above the bathroom sink, and not the big mirrored doors in a hotel room that show more than you might care to see.
The mirror of Lent creates reflections even larger than that, for as author Annie Dillard reminds us, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” To ask questions about how we give, how we pray, and how we care for our neighbor is to hold a metaphorical mirror up to our souls. It is to lay open and bare before God our very lives, including all the things we hide from others and even that which we try to hide from ourselves.
One of the ways we enter into this soul-searching reflection is in the extended confession of sins in the Ash Wednesday liturgy that begins the Lenten period.
This message is an excerpt from a free Women of the ELCA resource, “Looking into the Mirror: A Lenten reflection,” available for download in English and Spanish. You will find the confession of sins in the Ash Wednesday liturgy in the resource.