Tomorrow marks the beginning of the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. What is the season of Lent and what is its significance (for those of us not new to it but need a refresher, those who are new to it and would like understanding, and for those who may not be familiar with Lent)?
From the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) website: "During Lent, the Church's worship assumes a more penitential character. The word 'Alleluia' is usually omitted (from the service) as well. By not using the alleluia — a joyful expression meaning 'Praise the Lord' — until Easter, the Lenten season is clearly set apart as a distinct time from the rest of the year. Additionally, it forms a powerful contrast with the festive celebration of Jesus' resurrection when our alleluias ring loud and clear."
"Finally, the penitential character of Lent is not its sole purpose. In the ancient Church, the weeks leading up to Easter were a time of intensive preparation of the candidates who were to be baptized at the Easter vigil on Holy Saturday. This time in the Church's calendar was seen as an especially appropriate time for Baptism because of the relationship between Christ's death and resurrection and our own in Holy Baptism (see Rom. 6:1-11). This focus would suggest that the season of Lent serves not only as a time to meditate on the suffering that Christ endured on our behalf but also as an opportunity to reflect upon our own Baptism and what it means to live as a child of God."
So, the season is a season of reflection, on our own lives and our relationship to Christ, in the light of what Christ did for each of us. In a penitential character, as we take inventory during this time, we seek to repent of our sins and follow those lives Christ desires for us.
Over the next few weeks, our devotions will be that inventory through the passages you shared as being meaningful to each of you. As you share the word of God, we will reflect on that passage and its meaning in our lives based on the meaning it has for you.
Hope Men's Ministry