The season of Lent begins on March 1. Here is a little info to help you along on your journey toward Easter this Lenten season.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. It is 40 days (minus Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It gets its name from practice of using ashes to draw crosses on the foreheads of churchgoers. The ashes come from the burning of palm branches or palm crosses used in last year’s Palm Sunday service. Ash Wednesday is not Biblical, but rather has become a traditional way to enter into the prayerful and repentant season of Lent.
It is also traditional to give up or take on something as a spiritual discipline during this time of preparation for Easter. Here are some ideas if you don’t already have something in mind:
You can take on the discipline of encouragement, following along on our pastor’s blog throughout the season of Lent.
If your family isn’t already doing the “Blessing Jar,” it’s not too late to start. Each Sunday in the bulletin there is some blessing, related to the scripture that week, that each member of your family can write down and put in your blessing jar (usually a mason jar, but a pickle or jelly jar will do). At the end of the year, you can read them all together, remembering the many blessings you have enjoyed.
The Practical Disciple has several ideas for growing in your faith during the Lenten season.
If you choose to give something up, let it be something that is keeping you from leaning on or paying attention to God. If you feel you never have time to pray or read the Bible, but you always keep up with your Words With Friends games, you might consider giving that up during Lent. Or, if, in times of crisis, you dive into a giant bag of M and M’s, you might consider giving up chocolate and practice turning to God instead of eating an entire plate of brownies when life falls apart. Don’t just give up something that will make you proud of your own discipline, be honest about the things that are keeping you from being the person and the Christian you want to be and let one of those things go.
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, April 9 and celebrates Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Then comes Maundy Thursday when we commemorate the institution of the Last Supper (communion), followed by Good Friday when we observe the day that Jesus was crucified. Easter Sunday is April 16 which we celebrate with a Bluegrass service in the courtyard. A complete listing of services and times will be posted on this site soon.