Lent, not lint begins February 17, with Ash Wednesday. Where did this practice come from and what is it for? It developed as part of the historical Christian calendar used mostly by churches that follow the liturgical year – the life of Christ.
The details of its celebration will vary, but its purpose is to open our hearts to God’s refining grace through prayer, confession, fasting and giving as we look forward to Good Friday and Easter. The Forty days represents Jesus’ time of temptation in the wilderness when He fasted forty days and Satan tempted Him to sin. Matthew 4:1-2 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be temptedby the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Satan continues to tempt His followers in similar ways by promising power, appealing to our physical appetites and gaining recognition.
Lent is forty days prior to Easter not counting Sundays. Just as we spiritually prepare before Christmas, it makes sense to prepare for the two most important days of the church year and Christianity. However, unlike the joy associated with Christmas, lent is an intensely penitential (repentance, remorse) time as we examine our sinful nature and a return to the God we have offended, or ignored. It is a time to seriously consider what Jesus Christ has done to secure our forgiveness and eternal life. It’s looking intently at the cross; not as decoration, but as the means of a torturous death for criminals. However, it doesn’t stop with Good Friday, if it did, we would have no hope. Good Friday was the darkest day in world history, perhaps with the exception of Adam and Eve’s rebellion. Yet the darkest hour gives way to the brightest day in world history with the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ showing His power and authority over death and Satan.
Easter is what gives us hope in the blackest darkness, gives us reason to keep living for Jesus Christ and provides meaning for each day regardless of what may be happening. Without Good Friday and Easter there would be no hope for the human race.
Pr. Bob Snitzer
By the Way:
Today 10, 2:30 Confirmation
Sunday 14, 9:00 Morning worship and Holy Communion. Sermon: God is Transcendent. If church is canceled due to subfreezing temperatures or snow, listen to KIOW and check your email.
Feb. 14, 10:20 Annual meeting.
Morning worship services may be viewed on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Pilot-Knob-Lutheran-Church-Forest-City-IA-431071033738650/ and our website at: www.pilotknob.org (Click on sermon at the very top of the page then Sunday’s Sermon then scroll down to the correct date. It is viewed through Facebook even if you don’t have an account.)
Offerings/donations can be sent to Angie Lawrence or the donation button on our web page.