The Christian season of Lent will begin with an Ash Wednesday service on March 6, at 7pm. Our Ash Wednesday service will include the imposition of ashes which symbolizes human mortality, mourning, and repentance to God. We remember that, “We are dust, and to dust we shall return” and so begins our Lenten journey. Lent is a special season of the liturgical church calendar that starts with Ash Wednesday and ends before Easter Sunday. The Lenten season commemorates Jesus’ 40 days fasting and temptation in the wilderness.
Lent is observed as time for Christians to reflect, repent, and pray as a way of preparing our hearts for the miracle of Easter. Christians from many different theologial persuasions choose to observe it by focusing our thoughts on Jesus Christ, his gift of love, and our discipleship to Jesus Christ.
There are several meaningful ways to observe Lent. Some folks choose to give up a habit or behavior during Lent as an exercise in prayerful self-denial or self-reflection. This might range from something as simple as not eating chocolate during Lent to a full-blown program of fasting. Often giving up something helps to make us more mindful of the types of things we hold on to, put our energy into, and what may or may not be important in our lives. Other folks prefer to commit to a special devotional activity during Lent - a daily Scripture reading, regular prayer, volunteer work in the community, or even committing to having a coffee with a friend every day. Perhaps one might walk through our labyrinth weekly?
The ways in which you may choose to observe Lent are up to you - the whole point is to focus your heart and mind on Jesus and your own discipleship during the journey to Easter. I would encourage you to try a Lenten practice. Whether you observe Lent in a small or a major way, you might be amazed at what happens when you devote a part of each day to reflecting on Jesus Christ, God’s Word, and the many ways the Holy Spririt is at our lives.