It’s hard to believe but we are about to enter the Lenten season of the church. Because Easter comes early this year (April 2), the season of Lent seems to start right on the heels of the Christmas season. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (February 17) and ends with the celebration of the Easter Triduum (Holy/Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday). There are two words which most accurately mark this season. These words explain what the season is all about and should mean for all Christians. The words are reflect and repent. During this holy season we are called to look deeply at our own lives and at areas which may not be pleasing to God. We are to examine ourselves in the light of His holiness and the call He has upon each of us to be holy. We spend time in prayer and reflection on ways we have fallen short and make a truly honest confession to God about them. Once we have done an honest assessment of ourselves and know what things we need to change, we are to repent. Biblically, repentance means that we are, with a broken heart for what we have done, offer ourselves over to God. Repentance is more than feeling sorry – it’s about feeling the hurt so deeply for what we have done to our relationship with God and others. We do not repent because God doesn’t know what we have done, we repent because, in doing do, we take ownership for our sin and disobedience. There are 40 days in this season. This number excludes Sundays because Sundays are to always remind us of the hope that is ours in Jesus. Because of this, they are not counted in the 40 days. The number 40 is significant in scripture. It was for 40 days that Jesus prayed and fasted in the desert being tempted by Satan. It was for 40 days and nights that rain covered the earth. Let me invite you to be a part of our Ash Wednesday activities this year. On Wednesday, February 17th, I will meet you in the sanctuary between 11 to 1 and 5 to 7 to place the sign of the cross on your forehead. These ashes are from Palm Sundays in the past where the palms are burned and turned to ashes for this purpose. This will be a ‘come and go’ experience for safety purposes.
May the blessings of Lent be yours. Pastor Bobby
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