This week is Ash Wednesday and you might wonder what is that? Well it is the start of the Lent season in the church, which is the 40 days that lead up to Easter and Jesus’ resurrection. Lent has been a tradition in the church for many centuries. So if you count back from the Easter date (April 9th) 47 days you land this year on February 22. But I thought it was 40-day season of Lent? It is, they don’t count the Sundays. Not sure why they don’t count the Sundays but that’s what they do!
But this Lenten season is a time to repent, to humble ourselves before God and to prepare to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection. Traditionally, Christians have given up one thing during this 40-day period as a way to show humility and sacrifice. It could be anything that plays a significant role in your life. Coffee, pop, watching TV, whatever you feel like you want to give up as a way to discipline yourself. One person gave up food once a week and fasted during the season. You don’t need to do this, but it is just a way some Christians have prepared themselves as they approach Easter.
This season is about humility. Realizing that God is God, and we are not. There are so many benefits the Bible talks about as we humble ourselves and acknowledge our dependence on God. In Isaiah 57:15 it says:
For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
God is sovereign and lives in a high and holy place. He is unsearchable and beyond our simple minds. He is the God of the universe. He is majestic and in complete control. But look what the rest of that verse says. He also lives with the contrite and lowly of spirit. He lives with the humble and contrite. And his heart’s desire is to revive the spirit and the heart of the humble.
God is near to us as we humble ourselves.
In this Lenten season humble yourself and God will be with you! You can start by coming to our Ash Wednesday service at 7 pm on February 22. Hope to see you there.