This next Wednesday March 1 is Ash Wednesday. It's the official beginning of the Season of Lent in the Christian Year. Lent comes from an Old English word meaning “springtime.” As I write this, we’re breaking a record in OKC for the highest temperature on this given day on record! It certainly feels like spring is right around the corner, though a few more below freezing days are still possible.
The day before Ash Wednesday is called “Shrove Tuesday.” "Shrove" means to “repent.” It’s also known by a much more popular term, Mardi Gras, which is literally “Fat Tuesday,” a day set aside to “party” by eliminating all the sugars and fats from your home in preparation to fast, give and pray during the 40 days of Lent. The 40 days do not include Sundays, which are called “Little Easters” to remember Christ was raised from the dead on Easter Sunday. The color for Lent is purple, symbolizing repentance, sacrifice and royalty because King Jesus died for all of us.
Lent is a time to prepare us to remember the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ during Holy Week. Many people choose to fast by giving up a specific food, alcohol or other pleasure to focus more on Christ. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2-3) Let’s all focus on Christ during this special season of the year.
I have found it meaningful to wear a cross during Lent to remind myself and others of Christ’s sacrifice. You could read the chapters of both the Gospels of Mark (16) and Luke (24) during the 40 days. I also urge you to consider signing up this Sunday to be a Lenten Prayer partner to encourage yourself and another First Church brother or sister in personal prayer. I look forward to the opportunity! You may want to create a prayer list of family members and friends who need Jesus as Savior and Lord that you in turn will invite to Holy Week Services.
Whatever the Lord shows you to do, do it! As Pastor David Player challenged us last weekend, “Be all in for Jesus!” He was and is all in for you. Come join us this Wednesday evening at 7:00PM for our Ash Wednesday Worship Service in Harris Hall. We will conclude our time by receiving the mark of the cross in ashes formed from last year’s Palm Sunday palm branches. To God be the glory!
Yours for a “meaning full” Lenten experience together,
PS - Keep the Revival fires burning in your heart! We’ve only just begun!