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What Is Lent?

Lent is a forty-day season lasting from Ash Wednesday until Easter, not counting the Sundays. As the days are lengthening and we're hoping for spring, it is a season for spiritual renewal. People often focus on prayer, reflection, giving, or fasting. Fasting generally means giving up something to create more un-distracted time for prayer, reflection, and generosity. The time span of forty days invokes a number of Biblical images:

  • the forty days of rain during Noah’s time, which flooded and cleansed the earth

  • the forty years of wilderness wandering by the children of Israel after they escaped Egypt, but before they could enter the Promised Land

  • Jesus’ forty days of testing in the desert before he began his ministry

I am glad for the regular rhythm of Lent in my year because it is a reminder to slow down and unplug as much as possible. It's a time to ask God for courage to explore the parts of myself that need healing, re-training, or creative encouragement. It's a time to know that I don't have to be perfect to be loved by God. If you want to begin your Lenten season this year with the traditional sign of ashes in a cross on your forehead or hand, please come to the sidewalk outside the Reba Meetinghouse (620 Madison) on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. Anytime between 7:30-8:15 am, or between 5:30-6:15 pm, meditate on the liturgical poem which will be posted along the west wall, starting at the Custer alley. I'll be waiting for you at Madison Street door, ready to give you the sign of ashes and a blessing if you choose. All are welcome -- no need to be a member of Reba church. ~Pastor Charlotte Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

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