From Genesis this morning we hear "When God saw how great was man's wickedness on earth ... " he sent the waters of the great flood to wipe out that wickedness and cleanse the earth. He saved a remnant in Noah and his family so that the promise that he had made to give life might continue and be renewed, for God takes care of his chosen ones. This fresh start is proof of that deep and abiding love that he has for us.
The waters of baptism are given to us to wipe away our sinfulness and cleanse our lives, giving us another chance and a new lease on life. Through the waters of baptism we begin again, laying aside our sins, repenting of them, and making a fresh start on our journey toward holiness. This fresh start is proof of that deep and abiding love that he has for us.
And tomorrow we remember those baptismal waters and we come to acknowledge our continued sinfulness as we are signed and covered with ashes. Our need of these life giving and cleansing waters is for each of us to be confronted, as is the promise and hope that this sinful condition is not our destiny. In the Great Lent of forty days, we journey from sin to repentance, from death to new life, from despair to hope and glory. It is a journey of faith, a time of transformation, a moment of grace. It is a fresh start. And this fresh start is proof of that deep and abiding love that the Lord has for us.