It is difficult to imagine! It seems we just took down the trees, and Chrismons, and
candles from Advent and Christmas. It seems the celebration and realization of Epiphany is still
fresh in our minds. All this is understandable. It has only been a month, or less, since these
things took place! And now, we’re thinking about Easter? Well, perhaps not everyone is.
Though we are. At least, we are preparing to…
The church is big on being prepared. One might say our whole earthly existence is a
time to prepare for what comes next. We seek to live in a way here and now that prepares us
for our eternity. It makes sense that we have seasons of preparation in our shared worship.
Just as Advent prepared us for Christmas and Epiphany, we now ready our hearts for another
holy season. We are set to begin a new time of preparation.
This month, we begin the holy season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday
(February 14th). Lent is a season of 40 days (not counting Sundays) wherein we ponder and
practice many things. We think of Jesus and his time in the wilderness, and the many physical
and spiritual challenges faced in that time. We ponder our own mortality, and contemplate our
own struggles of mind, body and spirit. It is also a tradition that we look to take on something,
or let go of something, that will cause us to pay closer attention to these things. Lent is a
season that prepares us. It prepares us for the celebration of the Resurrection, and then the
coming of God’s Holy Spirit. Though it also prepares us to grow closer to the Living God, in any
time or season.
We will begin these 40 days with an evening time of worship on Ash Wednesday. We
will mark the beginning of our shared journey through the imposition of ashes—a sign of both
our broken human nature and our hope to draw closer to God.
It is our prayer that you receive our welcome invitation! We invite you to join us for
worship, study, service, celebration, and all we do to draw nearer to the Living God in Christ
Jesus. We hope you will come along for the journey. Traveling together is always better!
Peace be with you,
Matthew M. Smith
Pastor, Hazel Green United Methodist Church