Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 days (not counting Sundays), 40 being one of the Biblical numbers of completeness. Like Advent, Lent is a season of preparation. As Advent prepares us for Christmas, Lent prepares us for Easter. In the early Church, Lent was a time when adults prepared for baptism. Today, Lent remains a time for renewal and learning and going back to the source of our faith. The final week of Lent, Holy Week, centers on the events that led to the suffering and death of Jesus. Lent's color is purple, a royal color and one that suggests solemnity.
I don’t yet know what are your traditions around Lent, but in many churches the altar cross is veiled–not to hide it but to draw attention to it. We focus on the cross because through it Jesus won the victory over sin, death, and the devil. The other major focus of this Lenten season is baptism. Through it we are buried with Christ into death, so that just as Christ was raised form the dead, we too might walk in newness of life. As we say the Apostles Creed during Lent, we do so in a way that re-affirms our baptismal promises. Our the baptismal is smack dab in the center of our sanctuary. You might stop at the font, wet your fingers, and make the sign of the cross as a reminder of your baptism.
This year our mid-week Lenten gatherings will be on Thursdays (yes, Thursdays, because the food pantry is open Wednesday evenings). We’ll meet at 7 pm for a brief liturgy and to share with one another how the Sacred Time Scripture for the week is speaking to us. The gatherings will be online via Zoom here.
Don’t forget to register for Sacred Time. You can register here.
Pr. Mark Walters