From the Pastor

LENT! WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? WHAT’S EXPECTED OF ME?  WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

Food for thought:The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”  (Mark 2:23 – 3:15)

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? During the year, the church set aside Lent as a period when we are encouraged to think about the way we are living, the choices we are making in our life, and how we are responding to the teachings of Christ.     We are challenged, at this time, to turn away from things that prevent us from being faithful to our commitment to God. This year with the virus holding sway over us we are challenged in numerous ways. We are pulled in many directions. It is not easy to avoid the things that attract us or the pressures to do what want and yet are restricted.

WHAT IS LENT? Lent is a time the church prepares us for the Resurrection of Christ. The Resurrection is more than a historical event. It prepares us to come closer to God and thus for our own salvation. The Church, in its wisdom, provides us a time to refocus on our relationship to God and to live a Christ centered life.

HOW DO WE ARRIVE AT THE DATE OF EASTER?

Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox, provided that the Jewish Passover has already been celebrated.

WHY IS THE DATE OFTEN DIFFERENT FROM THE DATE CELEBRATED BY THE WESTERN CHURCH?

The Eastern Orthodox Church calculates the date of Easter by the Julian calendar. The Western Church calculates by the Gregorian calendar.

WHY DO WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE LENGTH OF LENT AS FORTY DAYS? Forty is a frequent number used by the Church. In the Bible, it is considered a period of time for cleansing and strengthening. In all probability, forty refers to the forty day fast of Jesus (Luke 4:1 – 13). There are other instances in the Bible when forty was a specific, meaningful number. In reality it is forty days to Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday. To this we add Holy Week to Pascha.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME? You must be an active participant in the Lenten journey. Only by your own earnest desire to change will this period of renewal have an effect on you. So, what can you do?

YOU CAN PRAY Jesus Christ, Son of God, (here you can add a particular prayer request and then continue) have mercy on me a sinner. O Lord and Master of my life, do not give me a spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and gossip. Give me rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults, and not to judge my brother or sister, for You are blessed forever and ever.

YOU CAN FAST. Keeping the guidelines of the Church as best you can: meat, and dairy.  Fasting must be done with the heart and the mind, not just the stomach. Fasting must be accompanied with fasting from evil doings and thoughts.

YOU CAN ATTEND CHURCH SERVICES. Check enclosed Calendar.

YOU CAN READ SCRIPTURE.

YOU CAN DEVELOP A CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE.

YOU CAN SERVE OTHERS.

YOU CAN PRAY Jesus Christ, Son of God, (here you can add a particular prayer request and then continue) have mercy on me a sinner. O Lord and Master of my life, do not give me a spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and gossip. Give me rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults, and not to judge my brother or sister, for You are blessed and glorified, to ages of ages. Amen.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

Greater respect from others

Greater self-respect

A clear conscience

An inner feeling of peace

A new outlook on life

A brighter, happier future….

And certainly ETERNITY!


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