Lenten Message Series
We are beginning our Lenten journey. Lent is the season of 40 days, minus Sundays, leading up to Easter. These 40 days are modeled after Christ Jesus’ temptation and fasting in the wilderness for 40 days. You can read that biblical narrative in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, or Luke 4:1-13.
The Christian Church has set ourselves on this path for the past two thousand years, as preparation for the celebration of Easter. In the ancient Church, this is when those wishing to be baptized were engaged in intense discipleship to prepare them to enter the life of faith. Nowadays, it’s a common practice to give up something for the season of Lent—chocolate, swearing, watching tv, caffeine (this is not happening for me), etc. It is also the season for taking on a new spiritual practice—beginning your day with prayer and scripture, practicing compassion, serving at a local mission or ministry, etc. One of my favorite ideas came from Pope Francis a few years ago. He called upon followers of Jesus to give up judgment, cruelty, harsh words and to take on practices of kindness, care, joy, and compassion. To me, that’s always struck a powerful cord.
Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent. In this service, we are marked by the ashes of the previous year’s palms from Palm Sunday. We are marked to remember our mortality and humanity, and the gifts that those things are. We are also marked as an act of repentance, or turning from our sin. This is one of my favorite services of the whole year.
Ash Wednesday this year falls on February 14th. The evening service will be at Covenant UMC at 7p, and the early service will be at 12p at Audubon Park UMC.
Throughout the Lenten season, we will be partnering with Audubon Park UMC because last year really solidified that we are better together. It is relationships that make us whole because it is what God has made us for. Relationships of all kinds. So this year, on Valentines Day, join with us as we both acknowledge the ways we have fallen short in our relationships—with God, others, creation, and ourselves—and the way that we want to reorient ourselves in the ways of Jesus this year.
Join with us on our journey as we follow the Peter throughout this Lenten journey.