March is here! It “came in like a lamb,” so we pray it will not “go out like a lion!”
It’s the beginning of “March Madness” NCAA Basketball Finals, the month featuring St. Patrick’s Day, “Springing Forward” on March 13, Spring Break and our Youth Mission trip to The Boy’s Ranch in Gore, OK, Member Appreciation Day, my daughter Hannah’s16th birthday(ouch!) and the Beginning of Lent!
I’d like to speak to the issue of Lent today, since it begins next Wednesday March 9 with Ash Wednesday. It’s preceded by Mardi Gras on Tuesday – “Fat Tuesday” when historically people would have a party to clean out all the sweets in their house prior to a time of fasting during Lent. Traditionally, many people have given up something for Lent (certain foods, desserts, entertainments, etc.) as a simple sacrifice and reminder of Christ’s great and ultimate sacrifice for each of us. Others add something to their lives for the same purpose. They may pray daily for family members and friends who are yet to know Christ, or invest additional time in private devotions, or give a sacrificial gift. It’s an opportunity to live more Christ-focused. Lent means “springtime” and it’s the 40 days prior to Easter not including Sundays. Why not Sundays? Sundays are always to be days celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and as such are to be days of feasting rather than fasting! That’s also why we worship on the first day of the week –The Lord’s Day –to remember and celebrate His resurrection! We are Easter People!
Lent is designed to be a time of soul searching in preparation for the remembrance of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. Psalms 139:23-24 comes to mind, “Search me. O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We’ll begin this sacred season next Wednesday with our Ash Wednesday Service at 6:30PM in the Sanctuary.
The Worship Service is for the entire family will focus on the cross and will conclude with each person who would like, receiving the sign of the cross on their forehead with the ashes from last year’s Palm Sunday palms. It is a very meaningful and reflective time of prayer. I hope you all will make a special effort to be present for our Ash Wednesday Service next week.
God bless you as we seek the Lord together this Lenten Season!
Yours in Christ’s Love,
PS – This Sunday evening March 6; we’re hosting a City Wide Worship Event with Worship Leader Charlie Hall and Friends. You’re invited to attend!
Thu, March 3, 2011
by Mark McAdow