A Lenten Journey

Rather soon, we will enter the season of Lent, which is the journey the church takes every year to Good Friday and Easter morning. It originated in the fourth century as the early church was considering how to keep time with the life of Jesus. It is one way we remember the significance of Jesus’ days and how they speak to our days.

Lent takes place over forty days, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter morning. It has traditionally been a time of preparation, focusing our thoughts on the life of Jesus, centering our hearts on the steadfast love of God, and responding with our lives, as we practice our faith. During this season of Lent, we will gather for Lenten Lunches, reflecting on our faith at 12:00 p.m. every Wednesday (except March 14).

The forty days of Lent corresponds to the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness after his baptism as he prepared to begin his ministry. Lent is a time when we return to the heart of our ministry as the body of Christ. It has been a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Since these days are marked in this way, the day before Ash Wednesday has been known as Shrove Tuesday, or popularly, “Fat Tuesday.” It is the festival before the fast. We will celebrate “Fat Tuesday” this year with a pancake breakfast provided by our college students at 6:00 p.m. on February 13.

Churches of all traditions observe Lent around the globe, connecting us to one another and to the heart of our faith. We will mark these connections by gathering with First Presbyterian and Holy Trinity Episcopal for an Ash Wednesday service at 6:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal.

The journey of Lent helps us center our faith again, renewing our hope in God. It will take us through the events of Holy Week, beginning with waving palms and celebrating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, gathering with the disciples for the Last Supper, and facing the darkness of Good Friday. On Easter morning, we will celebrate the surprise of God’s grace, providing life and life anew. We will remember how the darkness of Good Friday was seen as foolish because of the light of Easter morning.

-Tripp