I’m sure that most of you know what follows, but in the event you have never heard or may have forgotten how our Methodist Book of Worship describes the season of Lent, let me highlight it for you.
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday, (this year on March 1st), and ends on Holy Saturday, April, 15th. The word Lent, is derived from the Anglo-Saxon, word lencten, which means spring. The season is a preparation for celebrating Easter. Historically, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by converts and then became a time of penance by all Christians. The first Sunday describes Jesus’ tempta-tion by Satan; and the sixth Sunday, (Passion/Palm Sunday) Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
So the Lenten season is a time when all Christendom turns with Jesus to face the Cross. It’s a time of reflection, of receiving and giving and of losing and finding. It is a time when we are forced to face the truth about our walk with Christ and re-evaluate our sense of direction and to compare our focus and desires to His.
When Jesus turned his face toward Jerusalem, He knew the road would end at Golgatha, yet He neither turned away or slowed His step. Every Lenten Season we are asked to travel that road with Him, so we can better understand His life and death. The Path we follow with Him might be called the Via Dolorosa, or “The way of sorrows”. Some say the path started in Bethlehem, others contend it began with His baptism. Personally I agree with Max Lucado, who wrote the Via Dolorosa began in the hall of Heaven. The Journey began when God left Heavens gates in search of us. Armed with nothing more than a passion to win your heart, God came looking for you with only one thought in mind. God wanted to bring His Children home.
This year we will begin the journey on Ash Wednesday, March 1st, with services being held at 7:00 PM. Confirmation classes will be rescheduled to the following week.
Worship services will follow the Via Dolorosa beginning on March 5th, the first Sunday of Lent and will continue into April until Palm Sunday, using the following scriptures:
Matthew 4:1-11 The temptation of Jesus
- Luke 13:31-35 Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem
- John 4:5-42 The woman at the well
- John 9:1-41 The Judgment of those who claim to see
- John 11:1-45 A sample of what’s to come
- Matthew 21:1-11 Palm Sunday; The triumphal entry into Jerusalem
- John 20:1-18 Easter, He is Risen!!
Let’s make our journey with Jesus down the Via Dolorosa a shared journey. It’s a long, lonely road trip and I’m pretty sure Jesus would appreciate the company. In fact, why don’t you invite family, friends and neighbors to come along. Jesus is always looking for new friends.
Grace and Peace To You,
Click here to read of the March Newsletter!