How are you celebrating the season of Lent?

Published 8:35 am Friday, February 23, 2018

Pastor James Groleau

St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin

Are you doing anything for the 40-Days of Lent? Have you given up something for Lent? Did you know there are actually 46 days in the 40-Days of Lent? Did you ever wonder why?

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The Bible says, “I was born guilty and a sinner when my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) So the Bible says we are messed up before we take our first breath, or see our first glimmer of light. That might prompt you to say, “pastor doesn’t sound like a message of hope!” Well it’s not. Still, there is hope.

The Bible says, “Faith assures us of hoped for, and convinces us of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1) If it is true that our hope is found through faith, where do we place our faith?

The Bible says, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.” (Romans 10:17) So now all we need is the message. What did Christ speak?

The Bible gives us Jesus’ own words, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through Me. If you have known Me you will also know My Father. From now on you know Him through Me.” (John 14-6-7) So how do we get to know Jesus?

The Bible says, “Come to Me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest…  Learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for souls.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Are you doing anything for the 40-Days of Lent? Many churches don’t really do much for Lent so you might even be wondering what Lent is. Lent is a six-week season that is meant to be a time of repentance, reflection, renewal, and revival. All of that is in preparation for the wonder of the Easter resurrection of Jesus and His walking out of the tomb showing all, salvation has come! So are you doing anything for Lent?

Many folks will give up something for Lent. Some quit chocolate, others quit  pop or sweets. Some bold individuals give up meat. What I would challenge you to do is to add something for Lent. Start a healthy habit giving satiation for your soul.

You might want to add a devotional reading or a Bible reading each day. Pick something small so you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you haven’t been to church in a while (or ever) Lent might provide a good opportunity to get into the place that teaches you how to get safely to your heavenly home.

If you’re looking for a church home, visit us at St. John’s Lutheran Church here is Austin. We like to keep some of those old traditions so we’re doing a lot for Lent. We’ve got services at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday through  March 21. The message each Wednesday will explore one of the “People of the Passion.” The people around Jesus just before and during His crucifixion. Each Sunday during Lent will explore those ancient Scriptures and learn how to make them real and relevant for modern lives.

During Holy Week (the week before Easter, the last week of March this year) we will have a number of opportunities to learn more about Jesus and the salvation He won for us. We have a special meal on Maundy Thursday. On Good Friday we will have a special service called The Tenebrae Service or Service of Darkness, a very moving service that helps explain why we call the day Jesus died ‘Good Friday.’ On Saturday we will have a service called the Holy Saturday Vigil. A service of anticipation of the Easter morning joy. Finally, on Easter Sunday, we will sing Alleluia! A Hebrew word that means “Praise be to God!” We’ll celebrate the wonder that the  Messiah has come and His name is Jesus!

By the way, the reason there are 46 calendars days during the 40 Days of Lent is the Sundays don’t count. Every Sunday is a celebration of Easter, so even during Lent we still remember that Christ has come and faith in Him does save you.