ASH WEDNESDAY BEGINS LENT
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the key events and doctrines of the Christian faith. The seasons of Lent and Easter celebrate these most important aspects of God’s plan of salvation for man – the life, suffering and ascension of Jesus Christ as Lord.
Jesus Christ was born for our salvation. He lived and taught, suffered and was put to death; but God,
“… raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand… and He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things…” Ephesians 1:20,22
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are delivered from sin and death. By the Holy Spirit we are born into eternal life with God. This we must confess and renew continually in our worship and in our lives.
The day that inaugurates the Lenten Season. It is a designated time for new beginnings in the faith, a time for returning to the Lord. On this day we are to recall our sinful human nature and seek the Lord for a renewed spirit. This is a time for putting aside the sins and failures of the past in order to lay hold of who we are yet to become by the grace of God.
The forty days of preparation for the celebration of Easter, is a time for inner examination, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – a time for growing through repentance and fellowship. It is not merely a time of “giving up,” but also a time for “taking on.” This is the season that each of us should take personal spiritual inventory in order to prepare ourselves to experience the mighty meaning of the Cross.
Lent is a season of spiritual preparation during which we recall the whole life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus. The word LENT comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for spring, which is derived from a verb meaning to lengthen. Lent comes in the spring when the days become noticeably longer.
This annual season of fasting, prayer, and penitence has been observed by the western church since the first century after Christ, although it has not always been forty days long. In more recent times it has been kept forty days to commemorate the forty days of fasting and prayer that Jesus spent in the wilderness.