Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted by Trinity Lutheran Church, 2701 24th St., Great Bend.
The Season of Lent is the 40-day period that begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, and concludes at the Great Vigil of Easter. Sundays are not included in this count because every Sunday is a joyful celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
Lent is 40 days long because 40 days is a traditional number of discipline, devotion, and preparation in the Bible. Moses stayed on Mt. Sinai 40 days when he received the Ten Commandments from God (Exodus 24:18); Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness after leaving Egypt; Elijah traveled 40 days before he reached the cave in Mt. Horeb where he beheld the “Still Small Voice” of God (I Kings 19); and Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness praying and fasting (Matthew 4:1-11).
Feb. 13 Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. On this day Christians focus on their complete sinfulness and the necessity of Christ’s suffering and death to insure their salvation. Service at Trinity begins at 7:30 p.m. this year the theme is “Marks of the Church.”
Trinity Lutheran has had a long tradition of the imposition of ashes at the Ash Wednesday service. Ashes are referred to many times in the Old Testament as signs of sorrow, mourning, humility and repentance, and on Ash Wednesday they are used to remind people of their mortality — that “you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
Because of Lent’s penitential nature, worship tends to be more solemn, and purple is the liturgical color of the season. Trinity Lutheran, like many other ELCA congregations, holds special mid-week worship services and promotes other devotional activities to help our members concentrate on the Lenten disciplines of fasting, almsgiving (charity), works of love, and prayer. The special mid-week Lenten services are on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. Using a pulpit exchange with area Lutheran preachers we will worship on those Wednesday evenings using the Holden Evening Prayer and featuring our guest preachers from their neighboring congregations.
The Schedule for services is Feb. 20 and 27 and March 6, 13 and 20. Maundy Thursday is March 28. Come and take part in the discipline of Lent.
All baptized believers are welcome to receive Communion where Christ offers himself for forgiveness and strength. Young children and others who have not yet been prepared for their first Holy Communion are welcome to come up for a blessing.
We make our way through Lent, longing for the baptismal waters of Easter, and our spiritual rebirth. Come to Trinity this Lenten Season you are welcome.