“Why do we celebrate Lent?” This question seems to come up every year. Traditionally, Lent is all about preparing ourselves for Easter. Easter, of course, is all about gaining our new life in Christ! But Lent is one of those things where, if you put nothing into it, you get nothing back. By going through the celebrations of Lent, Easter becomes more significant and special for us. The challenge for us is to decide, “What will take precedent in our lives?” Will we seek and uphold that which is important? Or will we allow ourselves to be dominated by the mundane business and pressure of the world that surrounds us? I realize that this is hard. Choices in life can be grey and difficult to deal with. But too often we fail to choose, we simply let life take over, let others decided what we will value or devote ourselves to. We allow all the things that cry loudest, flash brightest, or push the hardest to determine what we will devote ourselves and our lives too, instead of that which truly matters.
Lent provides an opportunity for us to free our hearts and minds from the selfishness that dominates the world around us. To say no to something we long for, and instead allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us as we turn our hearts and minds towards the power of the Cross of Christ. The Cross is what can free us from everything that so easily captivates us. My prayer for all of us is that during the upcoming season of Lent we will choose to avail ourselves of the opportunities to step outside the pressures of our lives and devote time to God. To prepare ourselves, so that we can receive all the benefits and blessings that a new life in Christ can offer. That is after all, what Easter is really about.
Lenten Opportunities at Alpine:
Ash Wednesday March 2nd: Come and receive the ashes.
6:45 AM -7:30 AM Pr. Dan will be standing outside Door C (entrance on south side of building with overhang) distributing the ashes to all who drive up. No need to leave your car.
11:00 AM & 7:00 PM Ash Wednesday Worship Services
Lenten Worship Series Grace Unbounded! “In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus reaches out to all kinds of people. He proclaims good news—in particular, to those experiencing poverty, oppression, or captivity. Despite the tensions at the time between Jewish people and Samaritans, he tells a story about a Samaritan who shows what it means to be a neighbor. Jesus also responds to those who want healing, welcomes time with children, shows great regard for women, shares meals with “unsavory” characters, and seeks out people who have lost their way. No limits, no restrictions, no boundaries—not even death—can stop his love and grace for all people” (from Grace Unbounded, this year’s Lenten Devotional).
Take part in fasting. Chose something to sacrifice during Lent, so that we can better identify with the sacrifices that Jesus made for us. The key here is to take the time and resources we would have spent on our chosen item/habit and use them instead to focus on our relationship with Christ.