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Posted on Feb 14, 2018 in Blog, Event

Ash Wednesday’s Call

Ash Wednesday’s Call

It’s Ash Wednesday.

Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we celebrated Christmas?  Can it really be time to be start thinking Easter?  The answer to both questions is “no.”  It really has been awhile since Christmas.  And it’s not time for Easter.  It’s time for Lent!

Lent is a season in the church that runs for 40 days (not counting Sundays) from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday (February 14 – March 31 this year).  Lent’s purpose is to help people focus more fully on their lives as seekers and followers of Jesus, in preparation for the Easter celebration to come.  From the time of the ancient church, Lent has been a season of self-denial and intentional spiritual practices.  This focus springs from Jesus’ call to all would be followers.

“All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily and follow me.”  (Luke 9:23, CEB)

Jesus’ call, and the season of Lent, are reminders that following Jesus does not come natural to us (“must say no to themselves”).  They are reminders that following Jesus is hard (“take up their cross”).  They are reminders that following Jesus must be intentional (“daily”).

So, here’s my challenge to you for Lent 2018.  What is one thing…big or small…you can intentionally do every day during Lent, that can help you focus less on yourself and more on God and/or others?

Maybe it’s praying the Lord’s Prayer, each day focusing on a different word or phrase?  Maybe it’s helping someone new each day in some intentional way?  Maybe it’s using the time during your lunch hour each day to work on memorizing some favorite Scripture passages instead of catching up on social media.  Maybe it’s… Well, you fill in the blank.

I’m looking forward to the “spiritual” practices and habits this year’s journey of Lent helps establish in my life and yours!  Feel free to share yours with me here or in an email (steveblacksher@ozarkumc.org).

Your partner on the journey,

Pastor Steve

 

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