Have you filled your bucket today?
Look through the Bible and you will not find the word “Lent.” The season of Lent came along after Christians had been practicing their faith for a few generations.
The season of Lent is a time for reflection. For some people, they find giving up something a helpful part of that reflection. Some people
take something up.
However you travel through the season of Lent take time (a hard thing to find for many, many people) to listen for God’s voice in your life. Slow down where you can to listen to the story we have of Jesus making his journey toward the cross.
And remember that Sunday is a free day. More on page 2 about that!
| Pastor's Note
Why is Sunday a free day in Lent?
Through the years, I’ve told people that if they give something up or take something up, Sunday is a “free square” on the calendar. Sometimes people who are into the giving up of something say there’s no way possible to “cheat” on Sunday.
And that’s where I’d like to suggest there’s no cheating involved. Sundays in Lent are “in” Lent rather than “of” Lent. It’s subtle difference, but one worthy of our thoughts. Every Sunday is a Resurrection Day. Every Sunday we celebrate that Jesus has risen. Every Sunday we lift up our voices in praise of God, thanking God for sending his son into the world. Not even Lent can take that Good News away.
In the times when I’ve given something up for Lent, I’ve always look forward to Sunday as that “free” day, a chance to set aside the rules and usually eat whatever I had given up.
From the first practices of the season of Lent, there are other ways that we do acknowledge that Lent is a little different than the rest of the year. Through the generations, there’s a suggestion to “bury the alleluia” during the season of Lent. No hymns with the word “alleluia” are to be included. I’ve practiced this tradition in the congregations I’ve served, but often not told people of the reason.
|Setting aside the alleluia
through the season of Lent makes the alleluia-filled songs of Easter
morning more bright and celebratory.
Sometimes we can ask ourselves why we have to have cloudy, rainy days. And one answer is that our world could not exist -- at least in Iowa -- without rain and restoration of the land. Yet another idea is that cloudy and rainy days allow us to truly appreciate the beauty of a sun-filled day.
I believe this principle is played out in Lent as well. If we set aside something we enjoy (chocolate or something else) or take something up (more prayer time or trying for a kind word most of the time) then when we get our “free” day and when we finally get to the day of Easter, we feel the full power of the resurrection.
In the season of Lent, we collect the One Great Hour of Sharing. This year as last we will practice the “Noisy Offering” to collect the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters for this important offering.
Using that bit of mirth in worship, we increased our contribution to the OGHS offering last year by quite a bit. Remember OGHS goes to the money released immediately after disasters the world round.
See you in church! Ann Johnson
CONFIRMATIONConfirmation class starts Sunday March 6th at 9am. All 7th and 8th grade students and older students who have not been through confirmation are invited. The class is lead by Pastor Ann. It will run eight consecutive weeks with the students being confirmed on May 1st