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It’s Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day that begins the season of Lent.  Lent is a 40 day (excluding Sundays) season of preparation and penitence that runs from today until Holy Saturday (the day before Easter).  Why exclude Sundays?  Each Sunday is to be observed as a “little Easter,” and therefore cannot be part of Lent.  The name comes from an anglo-saxon word “lencten,” which means Spring.  Not only does Lent and Easter occur in the Spring each year, it also can be a “spring” in our life as we think about the new growth that can come from our rededicating ourselves to the spiritual discipline of faith.

 

Historically, Lent was a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by converts to the faith.  It has come to represent a period of penance by all Christians.  Lent is marked by self-denial, either by fasting, giving up a pleasure, or taking up an additional spiritual discipline.

 

During these days, the community of faith travels with Jesus toward Jerusalem; Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and finally, the joy of the resurrection on Easter morning.

 

In addition to our individual spiritual disciplines and penance, as a community we engage in a Lenten Study, aimed at enhancing our understanding of Holy Week.  The Lenten Study will begin this Sunday during our Faith Enrichment hour at 9:00 a.m.  The resource is The Third Day: Living the Resurrection, by Tom Berlin.

 

It is my Lenten prayer that each of us might assume a Lenten discipline and draw more closely to Jesus as we move toward Jerusalem, and our eternal future.

 

See you tonight-and Sunday,

 

Paul

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