This year the season of Lent starts March 1, Ash Wednesday, and ends on April 15, Holy Saturday. Lent is a period of forty days, not counting Sundays which represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
We often hear people talk about Lent as a period of time to “give something up”. It’s common to hear someone say “I gave up watermelon” or “I gave up exercise” or “I gave up spinach” or anything that we wouldn’t be eating or doing no matter what time of year it was. This year let’s not “give up” but instead let’s focus on our relationship with God through self-examination, reflection and preparation for the coming of Easter.
In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism and was created as the final step in preparation for those choosing to follow Jesus.
Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God through self-examination, reflection and preparation for the coming of Easter. Self-examination and individual preparation are part of the work of Lent as we ready ourselves for Easter.
During Lent our Sunday worship will focus on preparation for Easter but this alone does not and should not fulfill our personal preparation. So, throughout the season of Lent there are additional worship services and Bible Studies offered.
The season of Lent starts with Ash Wednesday which this year is March 1. Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter: we confront our own mortality and confess our own sin before God within the community of faith. Our two churches: Mora and Ogilvie will come together in Mora for the observation of Ash Wednesday.
An eight-week study called Jesus’ Final Week is offered three times each week during Lent. Identical sessions are offered on Saturday mornings at 9:30 at Mora UMC in room D, Sunday noon at the Pizza Pub in Mora and 10 am Thursday at the Ogilvie church.
This study is designed to deepen our understanding of the last week of Jesus’ life. Chapter 1 starts with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the final chapter celebrates Easter and challenges us to think about how the resurrection of Jesus changed our lives.
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and the day Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples thereby instituted the Lord’s Supper, also called Communion. The Mora and Ogilvie churches will observe a special Communion service at the Ogilvie church on Maundy Thursday in memory of Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples and in celebration of this gift to us.
Good Friday we worship with a Kanabec County community service at Grace Lutheran in Mora. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
We end the week on Easter Sunday with the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection! Wow what a wonderfully busy time in the lives of Christians. We are after all Easter People.
This 40-day journey called Lent is a wonderful opportunity to grow in your faith. Find your path of self-reflection and spiritual discovery, and invite others to join you as you seek to observe a holy Lent. Together we enter this season of Lent, a season that changed our destiny – To God be the Glory!
Your Sister in Christ,