Sunday Worship Gathering 11 AM @ North Community Lutheran Church
114 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43214 (Map)
What’s up with the black smudge on people’s foreheads? Growing up in a church that did not observe the traditional church calendar I found Ash Wednesday and Lent confusing. Many have questions. What is Lent about and should it be practiced?
What is Lent?
Lent is a forty-day period of fasting and preparation beginning Ash Wednesday and culminating on Easter Sunday. It is forty-days to coincide with Jesus preparing for his ministry with a forty-day fast. Beginning in the 4th century, Christians marked the days leading up to resurrection Sunday with devotion, prayer, and contemplation. In many ways, it is similar to Advent preparing one for Christmas.
There are a number of ways you can fast in the Lent season. Many take a break from a particular food, social media, alcohol, television, and shopping. But, Lent is not just about giving something up but pressing something in. As you fast from a physical longing pursue satisfaction in Jesus Christ. You can do this through prayer, solitude, Scriptural mediation, and being involved in a local church.
Why practice Lent?
The primary metaphor for the Easter season is the church as the resurrected people living a resurrected spirituality. Because of Easter we are in union with Christ and are called to live in our baptismal identity in his resurrection. This essential theme of Easter cannot be communicated in a day. It takes a season.
– Robert Webber
In our fast paced world we can struggle to slow down. In our image management society we are prone to lose the discipline of internal examination. Lent offers an opportunity to slow down and consider where ultimate satisfaction is found. It is a season of preparing our mind and heart to the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, our spiritual practices often reflect our faith convictions – they are special events that are disconnected from everyday experiences. We debate this historical reality of the resurrection and miss the power of how it shapes our lives. Observing Lent provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the resurrection and integrate it more fully in our lives.
Another struggle for Western Christians is prioritizing personal autonomy over communal connection. We idolize individuality and miss the beauty of being connected to a multi-generational and cross-cultural family. In our pursuit of novelity we miss the wisdom and spiritual richness of previous generations. Practicing Lent enmeshes us into the fabric of the historical and global body of Christ.
Simply put – one cannot practice lent alone. You are joining with millions in the past and present who are relinquishing a physical desire in hopes of finding spiritual fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Ash Wednesday Services
Due to facility limitations, Scarlet City does not offer an Ash Wednesday service at this time. Here are a few that we recommend:
North Community Lutheran Church - 7:30PM, no childcare provided
Veritas Community Church - Short North, 6 & 8PM, childcare is provided
Vineyard Columbus - 5:30PM and 7:30PM, no childcare provided
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