What Is Lent?
Lent comes from the Angelo Saxon word lencten which means spring. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wildness enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. Lent is a time for repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and this year that day is on February 14, 2018. In the early church lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Sunday’s in Lent are not counted in the forty days, because each Sunday represents a mini Easter and the reverent spirit of lent’s tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection. Every year the day of Easter is different the reason for this, is that Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon in spring, and this year will be March 31 I believe and Easter Sunday is April 1, 2018.
Mardi Gras? What does that have to do with Jesus?? Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” It refers to the day before Lent begins. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, the day before is always a Tuesday. And it’s call “Fat” or “Great” because it’s associated with great food and parties. In earlier times, people used Lent as a time of fasting and repentance. Since they didn’t want to be tempted by sweets, meats and other distractions in the house, they cleaned out their cabinets. they used up all the sugar and yeast in sweet breads before the Lent season started, and fixed meats available. It was a great feast! Through the years Mardi Gras has evolved (in some places) into a pretty wild party with little to do with preparing for the Lenten Season of repentance and simplicity. However, with the next day being Ash Wednesday can begin a time of all Christian to self-exam their own lives.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wildness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the flames of fire within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, I will go over and see this strange sight why the bush does not burn up. When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him within the bush, “Moses!” Moses!. (Exodus 3:1-4)
God had a job for Moses to do and of course like most of us even today think that there is no way able to do it. In Moses case here is what he tells God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them,” The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, “What is his name? Then what shall I tell them? God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I AM” has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses. Say to the Israelites, The Lord, the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you. “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. (Exodus 3:13-15)
Even today many still call God “The Great I Am”, The Great Physician, The Great Healer, and so much more to so many. The Apostle Paul suffer very deeply for the gospel, and we do at times experience seemingly unbearable trials. Suffering is not new to God’s people. It has always been a part of God’s story. But we must never forget that no matter how great or small, short or enduring, the strain of suffering, it will never even separate us from the “I AM” or “El-Roi. In fact, when seen through the lens of God’s truth and His character, suffering actually moves us closer to the heart of God. It has divine purpose. Our suffering works in and through us to conform us to the image of God’s Son Jesus Christ and make us more like Him.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends