Robert Webber clarifies the purpose of Lent and worship during the season of Lent. Webber writes, “Lenten worship is a season for personal and corporate spiritual renewal. It is a time for intense study of God's Word, for meditation, and for prayer and for self-examination.
Yes, the Season of Lent is a time of spiritual preparation for the celebration of Easter. We need that time of preparation. As Advent serves as a time to prepare for the coming of the Christ child, so Lent is a period of self-examination as we look within, and consider the trajectory of our lives and the way we are living them.
For Christians, the weeks of Lent leading up to Holy Week are weeks of discipline and devotion. We often think about what we need to let go of. What is it that has a hold on us to the degree that it keeps us from recognizing the love and grace of God? During Lent we follow our Lord to the cross and reflect on his suffering and death. Traditionally, Lent begins each year on Ash Wednesday. As in years past, we will be observing the tradition of imposing ashes in the sign of the cross on each person’s forehead, or hand. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us, and remind us of our own mortality. The ashes also symbolize our grief; grief over our sin and separation from God.
Our Ash Wednesday service will be held on March 6th at 7:15 pm. in our sanctuary. Our theme this year is “Ashes, Ashes: We All Fall Down.” We will begin the evening with a pancake supper in Bethany Hall at 6:15 pm. Please join us for this inspirational time of fellowship and worship. Also during Lent, I will be leading a class on Wednesday nights entitled “Simon Peter: A Flawed yet Faithful Follower of Jesus”. There is much to learn from Peter. Next to Jesus, Peter may arguably be the most significant person in the New Testament.
Peter was an ordinary fisherman who was transformed into a follower of Jesus. He was faithful, yet flawed. Peter was the first to profess Jesus as the Son of God, yet he later denied knowing him, but he went on to give his life for the sake of his call. I hope you will participate each Wednesday as we take an in-depth dive into the life, faith and character of Simon Peter.
I will also be preaching a series of sermons about Peter each Sunday in March and April. The Series is entitled, “A Man Called Peter.” We will examine Peter’s life and his relationship with our Lord. So get ready! Be prepared! Easter is coming; worship and study will help us prepare the way for a joy-filled Easter Sunday.
In Christ, Pastor Joel
Rev. Dr. Doris Barron-Shell