Posts Tagged ‘Lent’

Lent, anyone?

Everyone in the South knows about, and probably celebrates in some form or fashion, the Easter holiday. The Easter feast has always been the most celebrated day in the church calendar year and in the South in particular it has become a major part of our culture. When we look beyond putting on our finest and grabbing time with family, when we look at the reality of Easter, particularly at the centerpiece of it- the death and resurrection of God in the flesh Jesus Christ- we are challenged. When we really look we see the very nature of truly celebrating the holiday demands preparation and participation because our God participated in humanity, the punishment of our sin, and victory over the grave- for His people to be prepared for a right relationship with Him and for them to be prepared to be the vehicle for the Victory of God to the world.  The high nature of this church Holiday has resonated throughout the history of our church with importance and has, for centuries, called for preparation. Traces of a Lenten like observance begin as early as 140 AD with Saint Irenaeus speaking of a time of forty hour preparation for Easter. The first reference to a forty day preparation occurs with the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. For much of Christianity, the season of Lent was a time of preparation for newly converted Christians to prepare for a glorious baptism on Easter Sunday.  They were known as catechumens – which means to learn the way of Christ – and where we get our word catechism.  (Thank you, Gabe, for the details seen above). The beginning of lent is traditionally marked with Ash Wednesday (tomorrow), a day where we are reminded that we come from dust and return to dust. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our 40 day period where we as the church have the opportunity to prepare our hearts for our High Holy day of Easter. We can remember, reflect, prepare, and participate through prayer, fasting, worship, disciplines, fellowship, the Eucharist, and a host of other avenues. This season is for the edification of the people of God, for the church to repent of what it has placed in her center and in an intentional way put the work of Christ back where it belongs- in the center. This Lenten season I will be participating in a discipline to help me see what I need to repent of and help me put the work of Christ back where it belongs. I hope you will join me in this journey. Also during this season we will be posting different prayers and lenten reflections, so stay tuned… Until then, feel free to join us at our noon Ash Wednesday service.

Lenten blessings to you all.


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