A Message From Pastor Zahn
The Forty Days of Lent
Lent is a forty day period of repentance and renewal that prepares us for Easter. It provides us with a special time to recall the suffering, death and finally the resurrection of our Lord. Lent prepares us for a more meaningful observance of Holy Week and Easter.
Christians have observed Lent ever since the early days of the church. Originally it was a time for emphasizing repentance and baptism. Baptisms were performed in the early church on Easter Eve after a long period of instruction.
The forty day observance of Lent is still an important part of our corporate life as members of God’s family of believers, not just Ash Wednesday, but all forty days. We don’t arrange for baptisms any more on Easter Eve, but we still emphasize repentance as an important part of our preparation to celebrate our victory in Christ over sin, death and the grave. And we remember that in our baptism we began a new way of life.
On Ash Wednesday, March 1st, we begin another pilgrimage with our Savior to Jerusalem. We are going again to a mockery of a trial, to a scene of horrible violence on Calvary, to a funeral, and to recall an unbelievable ending to the greatest story ever told — the resurrection.
We are going on this pilgrimage again to remember and to give thanks for all that God has done for us in Christ. We are going again to renew the relationship with our Lord, begun in our baptism, renewed as we celebrate his victory over our worst enemy.
A little girl asked a question when her baby brother was baptized — a neat question that is at the heart of our Lenten pilgrimage. She heard the pastor say, “Receive the sign of the cross on your head and on your heart to mark you as a redeemed child of God.” When the ceremony ended she ran to her grandmother, brushed aside her bangs, raised her head and asked, “Is it still there?” That just may be the question we all need to ask ourselves again during Lent. Are you ready and eager to join us on our pilgrimage? Come Ash Wednesday and the following Wednesdays right up to Holy Week at 7:30 PM.
Pastor Larry Zahn