Lenten Greetings

shutterstock_1663698046.jpgGreetings, Friends:

As I write this letter to you, we are now observing the season of lent. Lent is when we prepare our hearts for holy week and for the coming crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. 

The Season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, study, and self-examination.  These spiritual disciplines help us to be mindful of all that God has done for us in the gift of Christ and in the ultimate sacrifice for us in his death on the cross. 

In Lent, we can pray to God confessing all the things we regret doing and all that we wish we would have done. Prayer is the gift that God has given us to communicate with him. As we pray, we may listen for God to speak to us.  Sometimes he communicates with a still, small voice and others it may be like a loud thunder.  If we are willing, God will speak to us about what God wants us to hear. Prayer is a very important discipline as we need to be close to God to grow in our faith.

Fasting is a discipline where we deny our bodies substances that may keep us from focusing on our need for God.  Throughout the bible, individuals fasted for discernment and before big decisions or times of trial.  As our body craves substance, we are acutely aware of how dependent we are on the food, water, and sustenance that God provides.  Many devout Christians and people of faith continue to fast for days, months, or even longer periods. 

God has given us the gift of Scripture as a way to learn more about him and his people.  The Bible is a book where the Holy Spirit reveals God’s purpose for our lives.  We need to study God’s word regularly and with commitment to allow God’s teachings to dwell in us richly.

The season of Lent also allows us a season of self-examination.  We are able, during these days, to better understand whose we are and why we are here.  Our own understandings and purposes can thwart God’s hopes and delay our willingness to follow Jesus.  If we take time to look within our hearts and minds and determine what is best for us and for fulfillment of God’s plans.  

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter, April 12.  It is a period of 40 days similar to the flood Noah endured in Genesis, Moses’ sojourn at Mount Sinai, Elijah’s journey to Mount Horeb, Jonah’s call to Nineveh to repent, and Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness.  There are six Sundays in Lent and these are always observed as resurrection Sundays.  So, Lent during the week days equals forty days.

I hope you will take this time to grow closer to Christ and to consider dedication time to the discipline of prayer, fasting, study, and self-examination.  Please know I will pray for you daily and ask God to meet you where you are and to guide you to him. 

Please join us for worship at 11 AM Sundays.

We also have a Maundy Thursday service at 7 PM on April 9 and two services on Easter, April 12. We have a Sunrise Easter Service at 6:20 AM and our second Easter Service at 11 AM. We hope to see you during the Lenten Season, Holy Week, and on The Celebration of the Resurrection.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Courtney

 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Tobias Buschmann

 

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