Please join us at NPC tomorrow, March 2nd at 5:30pm for a brief Ash Wednesday Service and the imposition of ashes. Here’s a few words on the significance and opportunity of this Lenten season by my friend Blake Daniel, pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Sylva:
“[This] Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the season of Lent. If you didn’t grow up with Lent (and I know many of you didn’t, myself included), here’s a bit of background…
The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word for “springtime.” It refers to the length of time before Easter, traditionally forty days, when the Church prepares to commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Just as Advent helps us prepare spiritually for Christmas, Lent helps us prepare spiritually for Holy Week and Easter.
You may be asking, Do I have to observe Lent? The first answer is, Of course not! But the second answer is, Why wouldn’t you? This season is a gift to us in which we may pause and reflect on our lives in light of Jesus Christ.
So, I encourage you to observe it this year. Typically folks use this time as a chance to give something up: certain foods, certain media, certain habits. In recent years it’s become popular to take something on: daily prayer, for instance, or journaling and letter-writing. Regardless, the goal isn’t self-promotion (pride) but self-effacement (humility).
What will help you humble yourself over the next forty days, so that you can see Jesus more clearly? Whatever the answer is… do it.”