ASH WEDNESDAY / LENT
Wednesday, March 6this Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is traditionally known as a day of repentance for sins through the public display of ashes. It is also is a day of reconciliation that sparks renewed hope for transformation, new beginnings and stepping into new challenges. It marks the first day of the 40-day season of Lent leading up to Resurrection Sunday.
Our theme for Lent 2019 is, “Journey With Jesus; Miracle by Miracle”I am challenging you to spend quality and quantity time with God over the next 40 days as you repent of the wrong that you have done, and consecrate yourself to Him. The season of Lent is customarily accompanied with fasting. I am challenging us to spend these days fasting – that is, giving something up. I encourage us to do more than just giving up certain things for the 40 days of Lent, I encourage us to use the next 40 days to strip and cleanse ourselves of anything ungodly and/or unhealthy. I encourage us to make life-long, lifestyle changes to produce overall, holistic health and well-being (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, dietary, etc.).
Say this to yourself, “For the 40 days of Lent, I have an opportunity to practice living without what I have been led to give up. After not having it for the 40 days, I know that I can live without it forever. Therefore, I have the opportunity to use the season of Lent to remove something destructive or unnecessary from my life.”
I am also encouraging us to use the 40 days of Lent to establish and practice spiritual disciplines, as well as positive and beneficial goals for our lives that we, likewise, will continue after the season of Lent has ended.
Examples of life-long, lifestyle changes can include:
- Modifying our eating habits and committing to eating healthier foods
- Modifying our sleeping habits
- Exercising more and taking better care of our health
- Drinking more water (note: not just liquids, but water)
- Commit to attend Worship Service, Sunday School and Bible Study weekly
- Commit to daily Bible reading
- Identifying at least one ungodly and/or unhealthy action, attitude and activity and determine to give it up forever that we may be drawn closer to God and deeper in our intimacy with Him.
Tuesday, March 5th, the day before Ash Wednesday, is traditionally known as Fat Tuesday. This is a day of gorging and excessive eating and drinking before the time of fasting. I encourage us, instead, to consider Tuesday as Fast Tuesday, and use it as a day to spiritually and mentally prepare for the season of Lent by praying and meditating on our goals and expectations that we have established.
During this season of Lent, we are suspending our Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon Bible Studies and encouraging everyone to attend one of the Lenten Services.