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What Does “Lent” Mean?

Easter is in March this year. That means that Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 10.   For the past few years we have had (at least in my opinion) a very moving service on Ash Wednesday as we have gathered for worship, prayer stations, Holy Communion, the imposition of ashes, and a couple of ways people could commit to spiritual disciplines during the Lenten season.

In this newsletter are other events that we will be hosting during Lent. I hope you will take advantage of those ministries. I’m looking forward to them.

Sometimes people have asked what the word “Lent” means. Here is some information about it. The word “Lent” is related, etymologically, to “long” and “lengthen” and it referred originally to the lengthening of the hours of sunlight in the springtime.

The forty day fast was associated with Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness after his baptism. It was in this forty day fasting period that Jesus was tempted by Satan.

It’s interesting to note that this experience of Jesus’ forty days of fasting came at the beginning of his earthly ministry. His crucifixion marked the end of that part of his ministry. Our observance of Lent is also a reminder of Jesus’ whole ministry – from beginning to end.  So when we reflect on Jesus’ life and ministry during Lent, we are reminded of the whole gamut of his experience with the disciples, with the multitudes, with the opposition, with his purpose, with his suffering, and with his death.

All of this prepares us each year for Easter and the hope we have in Jesus’ resurrection.

I hope your 2016 Lent will be a season of remembering Jesus, learning Jesus, and applying Jesus to your life. As the days are lengthening, my prayer is that our relationship with Christ is also lengthening.

See you Sunday,

Dennis 

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