Ash Wednesday & Lent at Trinity
From Pastor Moore
At lunch today a lady told me she was so excited to begin Lent next week! I haven’t heard that very often before! It turns out that for twenty years she went to church with her husband where they didn’t observe Lent at all, and she’s so glad to be back in a Lutheran church at last.
Maybe we could learn a lesson from her—to see this as a really exciting season. Lent is when we focus on the astounding greatness of the love of God, that He would even give up the life of His Son for us.
This year at Trinity that will be the focus of our Wednesday Lenten services at noon and 7:00 each week. “What Wondrous Love” will explore that love from before the foundation of the world right up to now, when we need that love more than ever. How high, how deep, how broad that love is, stretching out longer than time and filling up eternity!
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. Take our Easter date, April 20 this year, and count backwards 40 days, skipping all the Sundays, and you arrive at March 5. On Ash Wednesday we start our exploration of God’s love by considering our great need and hunger for it. We confess our sins and are marked with the sign of the cross in ashes (traditionally made from the palms from Palm Sunday) to remind us of our life of sin (the ashes) overcome by Christ (the cross). We’ll offer those ash crosses at our school chapel service as well as our noon and 7 pm services. We’ll also celebrate Holy Communion at noon and 7.
We’ll begin our Ash Wednesday chapel on the front lawn, “burying” the word “Allelua,” a token that this is a subdued season. At Easter Sunrise we’ll open that “tomb” and shout out all our pent up praises.
In the Bible we find the number 40 a lot—40 days of rain with Noah, 40 days on Mt. Sinai with Moses, 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, 40 days of fasting and temptation with Jesus in the wilderness. It made sense to the early church to spend 40 days contemplating the sufferings of Christ that prove his great love for us.
Sundays, though, are always a little Easter, so the Sundays are “in” Lent but not “of” Lent. The resurrection of Jesus is so important, so full of joy, that it trumps even the season of Lent. Our sermon series for the Sundays of Lent is “On the Road to Calvary.” Each week we’ll see Jesus ever more resolutely moving toward his cross on our behalf.
We hope you’ll join the Trinity family as we examine and rejoice in the awesome love of Jesus this Lent.
– Pastor Moore