Dear Friends in Christ:
We are this month, going to enter our season of Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday on February 10. Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday, marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).
For many, Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – His suffering and his Sacrifice, His life, death, burial and resurrection.
Not all Christian churches observe Lent. Lent is mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begins on Monday and Ash Wednesday is not observed.
The Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21. The question we must ask ourselves during the season of Lent is: “What in my life is something I can give up to the Lord that may be hindering my spiritual growth as a Christian?” What adjustments do I need to make in my life that will enhance my relationship with Christ and build my faith? Please be thinking of this prayerfully this season of Lent. Our Ash Wednesday service will be February 10 at 7 p.m. at the Ogilvie United Methodist Church. Please plan to attend.
In addition, please be aware of all the ways in which information is put out in our parish. Of course, we have the monthly church newsletter, but our church website and also a profile for Mora and Ogilvie UMC in Facebook are there for you to view. Each Sunday, we also try to highlight the announcements in our morning worship services.
God bless you richly this Lenten season. As always, please call upon me at any time if I can be of any spiritual assistance to you. It is indeed an honor to be your pastor.