A Message from Pastor Craig

 

With March comes Ash Wednesday and Lent.  Each year someone will ask, “Where does Lent come from anyway?”  Lent gets its name from an old English word meaning spring, the time when the days lengthen, thus “lent.”  The earliest Christians observed the 40 hours in which Jesus lay in the tomb with special devotions and prayers.  Later the period was increased to two weeks and then finally to the 40-day period (Sundays are not included because they are in Lent and not of Lent because they always celebrate the reality of Easter) to which we have become accustomed.  Since the 5th century, Christians have observed this period of preparation leading up to the celebration of Easter.

 

Interesting also about Lent is the observation I read recently that this 40-day period of Lent represents a tithe (10%) of our calendar year.  Just as the biblical tithe of produce or income was expected to be devoted to God in thanks and praise, so also it seems appropriate that a tithe of our year, our time, be set aside to focus on the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But the challenge for we moderns is that time has become our new currency and there’s just too little of it.  For hurried and harried folks like you and me, it just might be easier to give money than our time.  Often times Lent is simply forgotten:  midweek soup suppers and worship is sparsely attended, Lenten devotions are ignored, prayer simply falls by the wayside.  We find it hard to fit Lent into our busy schedules.

 

But without the spiritual discipline of Lent we pay the price.  Just as we are poorer when we don’t put our goods into the service of our Lord, we are equally impoverished if we don’t place our time into God’s hands.  No wonder our world is spiritually falling apart.  Our disregard for Lent is simply a symptom.

 

But it doesn’t have to be that way for us.  With Lent we have opportunity to walk with our Lord: to gather in Lenten soup fellowship, to worship with fellow pilgrims along the Lenten way, to worship our loving Father who sent His Son for us, to daily devote (ion) time to prayer.  We can take the time to drink deeply of the grace of God in Christ, who bore our sins on his shoulders even to the cross.  Lent is our time to grow in faith.  If not Lent, when?