Grace and Peace to you!
Welcome to the week in which we begin the season of Lent, a 40-day (minus Sundays) journey toward Easter. In our Judeo-Christian heritage the number 40 is associated with transformation: Raining for 40 days and nights to create the flood of the Noah’s Ark story; 40 years of wandering in the wilderness for the Hebrews as they journey from their slavery in Egypt toward the promised land; Jesus and his 40-day retreat into the wilderness to prepare himself for his ministry. It is this latter image of preparation that connects with Lent. Often it has been associated with fasting in the sense of giving something up – to help focus on the journey or as a kind of spiritual challenge. To fast also has another meaning – to take something up that will be transformative in your life to further the wholeness of your physical, mental, spiritual, social being.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday in which ash is imposed on one’s forehead as a reminder of repentance. “Repentence” in its Greek root (metanoia) means to put on a new mind and, hence, a new way of being in the world. So think of Lent as an invitation for newness in your living. We will gather for our usual Student Gathering Meal at WestM at 5:30 PM. Then you are invited to share in an Ash Wednesday experience with one of our supporting local church communities. We have listed the time schedule for their respective worship times on Wednesday and you can find more about them from the links below:
Here is a link to a fun web site, “Chuck Knows Church,” with his take on Lent:
Blessings for your journey this Lenten season.