Thoughts from Rev. Dorothy...
What is Lent? Many of us may connect Ash Wednesday and Lent with observances that the Roman Catholic church does. Actually, these are the creation of the early church. Baptism was usually done on Easter Sunday. The early church created Lent as a season for the church to accompany people entering the final stretch of their preparation for baptism at Easter or rites of reconciliation and restoration during Holy Week. Then, the Easter Season was designed as a time for the newly baptized to learn more about the mysteries of the faith and to respond to the calling of the Holy Spirit for ministry in Christ's name. The lectionaries were designed to underwrite these core formational purposes of each season of the church. Beginning in the fourth century these purposes became increasingly overshadowed by other concerns, including a proliferation of saints days and more of a shift to preparing for joining clergy or a monastic order. The late 19th century liturgical scholars revised these seasons to recover the original purposes. They are not biblical holy days, but rather human constructs meant to help us prepare ourselves to become better disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Lent is the 46 days (40 weekdays and 6 Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. In the early church, people fasted during the weekdays, reminding them of the time that Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and praying and being tempted by Satan. Since Sundays are a commemoration of Jesus' resurrection it was deemed not appropriate to fast on those days. Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, got its name from the blessing of ashes made from the palm branches which were blessed during the previous year's Palm Sunday. You can read more about Ash Wednesday in another article.
We often hear of people giving up something for Lent-there is nothing magical about that. It is merely a way of reminding us to spend more time on our relationship with God and Jesus Christ. A twist on giving something up for Lent is to, instead, add something we've not done before, such as reading a book that helps us concentrate on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ or visiting a shut-in or a family member whom we haven't seen in a long time or writing a letter to someone of whom we need to ask forgiveness or volunteer at the local homeless shelter or [the list is endless]! The whole idea is to get us to do something different than we usually do to deepen our relationship to Jesus Christ.
Here is my challenge to you--join us on Ash Wednesday to begin your season of Lent, then share with a friend or a colleague why you are wearing a cross made of ashes on your person, then do something out of the ordinary to change your relationship to Jesus Christ!
In Christ's service,
Welcome to YOUR Woodside Village Church!
Woodside Village Church Celebrates God's Love in both Worship and Music, Proclaims the Gospel in Words and Deeds, and Reaches out to Meet the Needs of our Members, our Community and Our World.
The Woodside Village Church is a community church that has been serving God since 1893. We support the proclamation of the Gospel, the celebration of the sacraments, and the education of the Christian faith and its values. No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, we invite you to consider whether Christ is calling you to pledge your presence, your prayers, and your resources here.
Woodside Village Church
3154 Woodside Rd
Services + Sunday school
Sunday - 9:30 am (nursery care provided)
Monday - Friday 9:30 am to 2:30 pm