Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten practices of prayer and fasting for many Christians around the world. If you’re unfamiliar with Lent, it is the season in the church’s liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and takes us up to Good Friday, where we contemplate Jesus’ death on the cross and look forward to His resurrection on Easter morning. We celebrate this season in 40 days, (minus Sundays) mirroring the 40 days Jesus was tempted in the wilderness at the beginning of his earthly ministry.
During this season of Lent, Jesus invites us to draw closer to Him by focusing on His life, His death, and His resurrection, but also our part in this story. We intentionally set aside time to contemplate our humanness, our sinfulness, and our need for a Savior. We invite Jesus into our brokenness, our sinfulness, and our shame. We get the opportunity to trust that He will transform us more into His likeness as we sit in His presence.
The psalmist prays in Psalm 51,
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
But we don’t just stop here.
We look with eagerness towards the resurrection, where Jesus conquers sin and death, and we are redeemed and made new in light of His sacrifice. And what a celebration that will be.
As we enter into this season of Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday, I pray you will intentionally engage with us in whatever way works best for you. Here are some ways to do that:
- Attend our Ash Wednesday Service this year on February 14th, 2024 at 6pm in the sanctuary.
- Sign up for our Lenten texts! You'll get one text a day throughout the season of Lent with an engaging reading of scripture to follow the life and death of Jesus. Simply text “lent” to 833-400-1168 if you’re interested.
I hope you’ll choose to sit with Jesus in a new way this Lenten season, and I look forward to celebrating the resurrection with you on Easter morning.