Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock of many things; our lives, our priorities, our weaknesses, our strengths, our ideals, and identifying what is most important in our lives to name a few. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts participated in the Catechumenate (where our word catechism comes from) and were instructed in the faith and were prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian walks with Jesus as he withdrew into the wilderness for forty days. All churches that have a continuous history extending before AD 1500 observe Lent. The ancient church that wrote, collected, canonized, and spread the New Testament also observed Lent, believing it to be a commandment from the apostles.
Because Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, we skip over Sundays when we calculate the length of Lent, which is forty days. Therefore, in the Western Church, Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday, the seventh Wednesday before Easter.
During Lent we will be watching and engaging a DVD titled What Wondrous Love: Holy Week in Word and Art. We will journey along with Candler School of Theology professors and will reflect on the gospel texts of Jesus' last week on earth through the artwork of John August Swanson. With the beauty and art and sacred texts, and the insight of Candler's scholars, I hope this study time together acts as a new catalyst for each of you on your journey of faith.
In closing I offer these words from former Presiding Bishop Arthur Lichtenberger who offered these words of Lenten advice:
* Fast from criticism, and feast on praise.
May this Lent find you stretching yourselves and becoming all that God is calling you to be.
See ya Sunday!
Blessings & Peace
All Saints Messenger >