This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. This year, we are offering two services (11:45 am and 6:30 pm) to encourage everyone in the body to be a part. As part of our worship, you will be invited to come forward to receive ashes on your forehead or hand (if you choose). Historically, ashes are a symbol of repentance and mortality. As we look to Easter, we remember that both sin and death have been triumphed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days that precede Holy Week and Easter, excluding Sundays (Resurrection days). The number 40 in Scripture signifies testing and preparation. Noah waited 40 days in the ark while it rained, Israel spent 40 years journeying to the promised land, and Jesus spent 40 days in temptation in the wilderness. Lent provides us 40 days for reflection and renewal through prayer, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines.
To encourage us in this task, we are happy to announce an upcoming series of Lent devotionals. Starting next Friday, we will feature a new devotional each week through the Lent season. Each devotional will be written by a different member of our body. Many were blessed by our series last year and I am thrilled we can again be blessed through these unique voices and gifts.