On February 17th we enter the season of Lent. The are a number of things we might say about it:
- Lent is the Christian season of renewal through repentance, that calls us to renew our faith in Christ.
- It’s a time of reflection and preparation before the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection.
- By observing these 40 days, Christians put into mind Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. One might think of Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness too.
- During those 40 days Jesus fasted, thus Christians enter a type of fast where they give up something they love for Lent. For example, if a person hasn’t eaten Brussel Sprouts for 50 years because they don’t like them, that’s not the idea. So chocolate, sweets, alcohol, social media which is (a new one) amongst other things.
- It is also seen as a time of confession, repentance, prayer and giving.
- We do not sing alleluias during Lent, since it is seen as a time to look at out sin, and should sadden us. The “Alleluia” will also make the first words of Easter Sunday more powerful!
All these things hopefully remind us that we are totally dependent upon God. He is the giver of all good and perfect gifts. The perfect gift of Jesus and all that He has done for us.
February 17th the beginning of Lenten Season 2021. The reason the date of Ash Wednesday (Good Friday and Easter too) changes every year is because the Jews use a lunar calendar. Jesus was Jewish and observed the Passover on the night that he was betrayed. Easter falls on the weekend after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which is why this year it falls on February 17th.
Ash Wednesday is marked by putting the sign of the cross for repentance humility and mortality. The ashes are traditionally made from the ashes, from burning the palms from Palm Sunday the year before. Which might bring the question; where did that tradition come from? I don’t know. I do know that going to the Lord in humility, with a repentant heart is a good thing. It is what Jesus said to do, right after He came out of the wilderness, after fasting for 40 days. And it is also what Peter said, when asked, by the Pentecost listeners, “What should we do?”
The church color for Lent is purple. A very deep dark shade of purple at that. Purple is the color of Royalty, but is also the color for repentance for sins. As mentioned a couple of times in this letter, Lent is a season of repentance. We daily sin. But Lent carries with it the idea that we really should examine areas of our recurring sin. Which in one sense of the word is your deadly sin. The ancient church speaks of seven deadly sins: lust, sloth, gluttony, anger, envy and pride.
So we enter Lent 2021!!! May we enter it with the faith of knowing we are truly blessed by grace through faith in the person and work of Jesus the Christ. These deadly sins can be forgiven and overcome through our merciful God. Be lifted up in all we do and say, and keep in mind that we need Jesus to get to heaven.
- Rejoice in the Lord, Always! In Christ! Pastor Bill
Rev. William "Bill" Viergutz: