Hearing assist units have been added to the audio system in Bruner Hall. So, if you have wanted to go to the 9 a.m. service but have been unable to hear, you can now enjoy the service! Ask the person running the sound system for help in getting started with the new units.
The Season of Lent Is Upon Us
March 1st is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the church season of Lent. Easter Sunday is the holiest day for the Christian faith, but Christians have long known that if we don’t prepare our hearts for the joy and excitement of Easter Sunday, then we might dilute its significance. Depending on your individual faith journey, Lent may or may not be something that you appreciate. Some of you look forward to the season, and perhaps ‘give up’ some earthly pleasure as a reminder of Christ’s suffering on the cross.
The season of Lent brings about a tone of solemnity in worship, and in our lives. Some of us might find it to be the most meaningful season of the year because we take the time to reconcile our lives with the difficulties that we face, and we imagine ourselves walking with Jesus through the darkest days of his life leading up to his crucifixion. I usually associate Lent with the idea of thin places. 'Thin places' is an old Celtic belief that the veil between heaven and earth is so thin that you can feel the presence of heaven from earth. Perhaps you recall me preaching about thin places a few years ago. Thin places may be specific geographical locations in this world, significant periods in your life, or a sense of the presence of someone special in your life. Perhaps the season of Lent will be a thin place for you this year; where you can experience a bit of heaven on earth because the veil between this world and the next is so thin.
This year, our Ash Wednesday worship service will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, at 7pm. Please join us; I will be preaching. For many years now we have been partnering with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church for ecumenical services on the high holy days of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we gather to begin this Lenten journey together with the imposition of the ashes upon our foreheads, with the stark reminder that from ashes we came, and to ashes we shall return. This seemingly dark practice reminds us, however, that to God we belong, both in life and in death.
Later, during Holy Week, we will again join with St. John’s and Prince of Peace for our Maundy Thursday worship service (at First Presbyterian on April 13th), and for Good Friday (the stations of the cross walk from FPC to St. John’s on April 14th), and an evening Good Friday service (at St. John’s). I am so thankful that our three congregations can come together for these ecumenical services, reminding ourselves of the similarities we have in being followers of Jesus, rather than focusing on the differences of the world’s Christian denominations.
You may notice the more solemn tone of worship during these weeks leading up to Palm Sunday and Easter. It’s a chance for us to think about the significance of our own journeys with Jesus Christ, and just how much his life, death, and resurrection mean to us later.
Grace and peace to you all this day,