Tomorrow begins our Lenten journey. It is 40 days that we observe a fast (abstaining from something) as we approach the cross. We do this for 40 days because that is how long Jesus was in the wilderness fasting and praying. It is where he encountered the Adversary, who tempted him three different ways. With food, with power, and with seeds of doubt. We will face those same temptations in our 40 days, just in new forms. We will start our Lenten journey by putting ashes on our foreheads in the shape of a cross, and I will say the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return, repent, and believe the Gospel.” We gain a lot of spiritual strength by remembering. Literally, we remember every time we gather as the body of Christ. I always hold onto that image that we are members of Christ body (Christ’s hands, feet, arms, all of it), and when we gather together and are bound to one another, we Re-member. So we will remember two ways tomorrow. By eating pancakes together, and by putting ashes on our foreheads, we will remember and then start our journey together. It is sure to be a meaningful season, and I am so thankful to remember it with you.
Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, where we spiritually prepare ourselves for the events of Holy Week, culminating on Easter. It is traditional Christian practice to fast (give up) from something in order to be filled spiritually. This year we are beginning our observance of the season with a pancake supper at 6 pm in the Family Life Center, followed by an Ash Wednesday service at 7 pm in the Sanctuary. It is a very meaningful service to begin a meaningful time, and I hope to see many of us there.
Dinner will be prepared by Pete Eisemann and Paul Jones. It will include pancakes, sausage, and a beverage. We are not requiring a reservation for dinner, but we are asking for a minimum donation of $4 for children 5 and under and $8 for everyone else. Any additional funds will go toward our Lenten offering this year, The Welcome Co-op.