Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Season of Lent: The Significance of These 40 Days

As United Methodists we observe Lent as a special time in the church year. But for those new to the faith or for those who have never really understood Lent, the following may add understanding and appreciation for this sacred season.

Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or volunteering and giving of themselves for others. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" celebration of the Jesus' victory over sin and death.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. It is a day of penitence and remembrance of our sins of the past and our ultimate mortality. Palm branches are usually burned and the sign of the cross is placed on the forehead using the ashes. Sometimes a small card or piece of paper is distributed on which each person writes a sin he wishes to be rid of. The cards are then brought to the altar to be burned along with the palm branches. The ash cross is an outward sign of our sorrow and repentance for sins.

We invite you to join us for the
Ash Wednesday Service
on February 6th at 6:30 p.m.

As we embark on this season of Lent, let us take time to ponder it's meaning in our lives. If you would like more information on Lent, please visit


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