Opening to God this Lenten Season
The season of Lent, the forty day (plus 6 Sundays) season of preparation for Easter, is upon us. It always begins with Ash Wednesday which falls this year on February 14. This season has been set aside by Christians for centuries but has been observed in many different ways. It is a season to remember to repent of our sins and receive forgiveness, the main focus of Ash Wednesday. It is a season to remember the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our sins and so we “sacrifice” ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, in fasting, in “giving” up something important to us, in giving to others in need while denying ourselves some extras. It is a season of hope because Jesus raises the dead to new life and so we worship joyfully each Sunday and in our private times of worship and prayer.
As a congregation we can all join together in this season for some very special opportunities to open to God and learn to trust in his love and mercy. On Ash Wednesday we will have the church open to receive ashes and pray from 7-9 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. We will set this up in the chapel off of the overflow area. If you enter the west sanctuary doors and come straight up into the overflow the room is just to your left. You can receive ashes before or after you enter the room to pray. There is an altar, kneeler and chairs available for you to enter into prayer and written materials including scriptures and prayers will be there to help you enter into God’s presence. At 7:00 p.m. we will have Awaken worship in the Fellowship Hall that will include receiving ashes and communion.
Throughout the season you are welcome to join our Lent Study group. It will meet on Thursday evening and Sunday school hour each week. The first gatherings will be February 8 and 11. The book we will be using is called Easter Earthquake and will guide us with daily devotional style readings into a deeper understanding of how Jesus’ resurrection shakes up our world. Print or electronic copies of the book are available. Contact the office to reserve a book or to get the website to find the download.
Sunday morning worship will include a special Camping Sunday on February 18. Then on the Sundays through the rest of Lent we will focus our attention on Jesus’ ministry and activities of the last week of his earthly life. So much happened and so many things were taught that week that we are stretching them out to look more closely at them.
Come and see. Worship and experience. Pray and sacrifice. Find peace and hope.