On February 22, known as Ash Wednesday, the 40 days of Lent begin. The 40 days of Lent do not include Sundays and ends on the Saturday, April 8th before Easter Sunday.
Preceding Ash Wednesday is Shrove Tuesday. Traditionally, it has been a day of repentance and a day to eat lots of rich foods in preparation for Lent. The sweets and other foods enjoyed on Shrove Tuesday often represent foods that will not be eaten during Lent. Frequently, one can find a church in the area that serves pancakes as part of Shrove Tuesday.
Lent is a time of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Three disciplines come into focus: prayer, fasting (which need not necessarily be food; it could be a fast from social media or any other activity that you see could create more space in your life for God), and giving and/or acts of charity. A person I knew decided he was going to phone people he knew who might be lonely. It was an exciting and rewarding discipline for him. There are two named days in Lent after Ash Wednesday: Maundy Thursday, the night before Jesus’ crucifixion when he ate the passover meal with his disciples, and Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ death on the cross. It is called Good Friday because through Jesus' death, great benefit comes to those who place their faith in Him.
At Polson Park Free Methodist Church, a reading schedule is being prepared and will be made available on Sunday, February 19, 2023, that will take us through the Gospel of Mark. The messages on Sunday mornings will come from the Scriptures you have read during the week.
As we enter the season of Lent in preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, take some time to reflect on what disciplines could enable you to create more space in your life to focus on God’s grace and love in your life.