Senior Pastor, Reverend Bridget Thornton
Lent begins this month. Lent has been a part of Christianity since the first century. It is a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter. During this forty-day period, we are encouraged to practice self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, self-denial, and reading and meditating on God's word. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which is February 22nd this year. On Ash Wednesday we are marked by ashes as a symbol of repentance and of our mortality. As we receive ashes I say, "Repent and believe the Gospel. From dust you came, to dust, you shall return."
Life is short. Lent, and Ash Wednesday in particular, are wonderful teachers of the reality of mortality and that we are not in control. None of us are guaranteed any amount of time. But this isn't a morbid reflection. It's a call to the reality that our lives are a gift and we can live in Christ. Each day is an opportunity to love God and our neighbors. This season we ask ourselves – am I living up to that call?
Perhaps like me, you were raised to give something up for Lent. This is a very Catholic idea and a holdover from times of mandatory feasting and fasting. Lent is a fasting season (except for Sundays which are always feasting days). This year I encourage you, if you are going to give up something, then give up:
• Words that harm others (replace with words of blessing)
• Pessimism (be filled with hope)
• Complaining (present your requests to God)
• Worry (have trust in God)
• Hurry & Haste – (be still and wait on God)
• Selfishness (embrace generosity)
• Grudges (embrace reconciliation)
• Indifference (hear the call God has for you and act for the kingdom).
May we be found, in our mortal lives, to be faithful followers of Christ.
Amazed by Grace,