Dear Messiah Lutheran Church,
Lent is now upon us! Historically, the season of Lent is a time of preparation from Ash Wednesday to Easter. We choose to participate in Lent, to help us prepare to celebrate what Christ does for us in His death on the cross and resurrection on Easter. For me, Lent makes Easter that much sweeter. The forty days reminds us of the 40 days that Christ fasted out in the desert while he was tempted by the devil. We do this through prayer, repentance, and self-denial.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. Its name comes from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads as a sign of repentance to God. Biblically, when God’s people would recognize how they turned from God, it was not uncommon for them to repent by sitting in sackcloth full of ashes to repent to God. Jeremiah 6:26 says, “O my people, put on sackcloth and roll in ashes.” While we do not sit around in a sackcloth, we do spend the time of Lent reflecting over our sin and how we’ve turned from God and essentially made Jesus go to the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. As we prepare for this, it makes Easter so much sweeter when we see God’s forgiveness through His resurrection come forth.
This year, Ash Wednesday is on Wednesday, March 6th. The theme for Lent this year is the “Signs of Lent.” Common road signs will help guide us along our Lenten journey. We will celebrate with an Ash Wednesday service at 7:30 pm focusing on the Road Narrows Sign, as Jesus tells us about the narrow door. We will also have midweek services each Wednesday, from March 13th thru April 10th at 5pm and 7:00 pm where we will look at a “Sign of Lent”. This should be an engaging way for all of us to reflect on our life and what Christ has done.
On Sundays we’ll continue with The Jesus Experience, reading thru Luke as Jesus gets closer to the cross on Good Friday. For Luke, everything culminates in the last week of Jesus’ life with his death and resurrection.
I pray that you have a blessed Lenten season; that you feel close to the Lord as you remember your sins have been forgiven by Christ.
God’s Peace, Pastor Mark