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Trinity Lutheran Church to explore the discipline of Lent
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Trinity Lutheran Church will observe Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and each of the following five Wednesdays, for the Lenten evening worship services which explore and teach about the Lenten disciplines.  
Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. As early as the mid-fourth century, Christians have observed a time of preparation before the Easter celebration. By observing the 40 days of Lent, the individual Christian imitated Jesus’s withdrawal into the wilderness for 40 days. So, the Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, and lasts 40 days. It is a time of simplicity and preparation.  The six Sundays that occur during Lent are not counted as part of the 40 days of Lent.   
Principal themes or disciplines of Lent include Penitence, Baptismal renewal, Preparation for baptism at the Easter Vigil, Prayer, Fasting, and Service, Confession of sin rooted in the promise of God that comes through the cross of Christ. Trinity will be doing a reader’s theater series called “The Temptations of Jesus” for Wednesday evenings and on Good Friday.
Feb. 18, 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.  
Palm Sunday, the Sunday of the Passion, begins the last week of Lent, known as Holy Week. During this holiest time of the church year, the worship services relive the final week of our Lord’s human life.
Holy week includes Maundy Thursday. That day will also be when the Trinity fourth graders will have their First Communion. Maundy Thursday is traditionally when Christians observe Christ’s “Last Supper”— the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion — and the mandate to serve one another in love.
April 3 is Good Friday, which commemorates the imprisonment, trial and death by crucifixion of Jesus.
Lent culminates on Saturday evening of Holy week in the Great Vigil of Easter, when Christians gather in darkness, light a new fire and celebrate the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies in the resurrection of Christ.
Remember foremost, this is a time to focus on prayer, a preparation to celebrate God’s marvelous redemption at Easter, and the resurrected life we live and hope for as Christians. Join us at Trinity Lutheran as we prepare ourselves this Lenten season.

Submitted by Rhonda Knudson, Trinity Lutheran media committee