The season of Lent begins this month. Lent is a 40-day period set aside to repent as preparation for entering again into the central mystery of our faith—the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation of the world. (Fun fact: The 40 days of Lent count only weekdays, because every Sunday, even in Lent, is a reminder of Easter and Jesus’ ultimate triumph over sin, death and condemnation.)
The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday, which is on March 5 this year. Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality—that we are sinners subject to death—which makes the gift of salvation so necessary. In worship, we put ashes on our foreheads in the shape of a cross, both as a reminder that “you are dust, to dust you shall return,” (Genesis 3:19) and that Christ’s death on the cross destroyed the power of death.
For several years now, Faith Lutheran has combined our mid-week Lenten worship services with confirmation. Confirmands gather with their families and the rest of the congregation to delve into one key part of the faith.
This year, Lenten worship will focus on the sacraments. The theme is “What can God do for you?” Based off the former advertising slogan of UPS — “What can Brown do for you?” — it reflects that the sacraments are the means of grace or God’s “delivery system” for bringing his saving power into our lives.
Lent is an essential part of the rhythm of the Christian year. For these six weeks, I strongly encourage you to worship on Wednesdays as well as Sundays, preparing your heart and mind to experience the wonder of Holy Week and Easter.
Grace and peace,
A goldfish is bound to water for survival. If it jumps out of the water, it will die. In much the same way, we are bound to Christ, and in Him we are free. You’ll see the goldfish imagery in multiple ways during Lent, as Faith’s Wednesday night worship services study St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Themes for each week’s service are:
Paul and the Pious
Wed. Feb. 13 (Ash Wednesday), Noon and 6:30pm
Gospel Crisis (Galatians 1:1-12)
Wed. Feb. 20, 6:30pm
Witness for the Defense (Galatians 1:13-2:21)
Wed. Feb. 27, 6:30pm
Founding Father (Galatians 3:1-18)
Wed. March 6, 6:30pm
Majors and Minors (Galatians 3:17-4:11)
Wed. March 13, 6:30pm
Freedom Must Be Free (Galatians 4:21-5:15)
Wed. March 20, 6:30pm
Rotten or Ripe (Galatians 5:16-6:10)
Thurs. March 28 (Maundy Thursday), 6:30 and 8pm