February 7, 2008

The Beginning of the Lenten Journey

This past Wednesday started the church season of Lent as 'Ash Wednesday'. Ash Wednesday is a day that is used to symbolize the attitude of sorrow for sins committed and repentance for those sins. Ashes were used in Bible times as a means of demonstrating that same attitude of sorrow and repentance, hence Ash Wednesday.

Lent is a 40 day journey that is done to remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry and Christians observe Lent to prepare themselves for the Resurrection celebrated on Easter, when Lent officially ends. There are 40 days of the Lenten season, not including the Sundays leading up to Easter, as they are seen as mini-celebrations in honor of Resurrection Sunday. Many people decide to give up things for Lent in an attempt to practice discipline and self-sacrifice just as Jesus fasted during his 40 days in the wilderness, while others go a different direction and take something on, ie. volunteer service, intense study of Scripture, quality time with family and friends, additional financial giving, etc etc. So whatever this Lenten journey means for you, I hope and pray that you experience the presence of Christ in a real and powerful way that goes way beyond these 40 days.