The most sacred season of the year is the period leading up to and including Easter Sunday. Many churches call this season “Lent” in which we observe a time of repentance and fasting for forty. “Lent” is an Anglo Saxon word which means “spring.” The 40 days begin on Ash Wednesday which is March 4th this year.
Though Lent and Ash Wednesday have not been traditionally observed by Baptists, I have found value in them for my celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Using these weeks leading up to Easter as a time of self-examination and reflection intensifies my anticipation of this very special celebration. I find the practice to be a way of becoming more disciplined in prayer, Bible study, and fasting.
The ritual of Ash Wednesday is the placing of ashes in the shape of a cross on the forehead of the believer accompanied by these words from Genesis 3:19, “Remember, O mortal, that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” This is a symbol of identity with cross of Christ and commitment to follow him. It is also a symbol of humility as we stand before God seeking nearness to Him, strength to do His will, and answers to prayer. (Genesis 19:27) “And Abraham replied, ‘Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes.’”
We will offer an Ash Wednesday service at The Gardens at 11:00 AM, March 4th. At the conclusion of the service, those who would like to receive ashes will be invited to the altar. We will also conduct a “Service of Shadows” at 7:00 PM on the Thursday before Easter Sunday.
Every Sunday is a celebration of Jesus. Our prayer is that you will worship the resurrected Lord every Sunday, and that you will grow in excitement regarding Easter Sunday when Christians around the world will capture the attention of unbelievers with a united proclamation that Jesus Christ has risen from the grave. He has risen indeed!
Norman Drummond, Chaplain