This week begins the most important season of the Christian year. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter Sunday.
Lent began in the early days of the Christian church as a period of preparation for Easter. Although Lent is not mentioned in the Bible, it is one of the oldest Christian traditions.
Duration: Lent lasts for 40 days (not counting Sundays) for the western Christian religions including Protestants, Catholics and Anglicans.
Symbolism: According to the Rev. Ken Collins, Lent represents the retreat Jesus took into the wilderness for 40 days of fasting.
Fasting: Fasting does not mean giving up food or water altogether. It usually means abstaining from meat, fish, dairy products, sweets, or a combination of these foods during Lent to simulate the fasting of Jesus.
Purpose: According to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Christians regard Lent as a period of discipline and penance. Sounds like a good idea for United Methodists as well.
Ash Wednesday: On Ash Wednesday, Christians focus on our own sinfulness. Ashes are used to remind us of our mortality. I hope your family will be able to join us at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.
Holy Week: The last week of Lent is known as Holy Week. The week commemorates the final week of Jesus’ life on earth. Maundy Thursday observes the Last Supper and Good Friday represents the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
Adapted from The Story of Easter, Zondervan
My hope and prayer is that each of you will be mindful of the season and become more aware of Jesus’ journey to the cross before he arose on Easter morning.
See ya Sunday,