Back in December, I was at a local fast food place.
While standing in line, I overheard the guy in front of me ask for a fish sandwich. The cashier was polite and said, “We only have fish during Lent.” To which the customer asked, “Okay, what day of the week is that?”
I wasn’t going to explain Advent to this gentleman because if he didn’t know about Lent, he probably knew nothing about Lent. I know, it’s a bit funny for those of us who practice the Holy seasons of the Church, but in reality, this gentleman represents a lot of people, both Christian and non-Christian.
I grew up without the knowledge of Holy days and seasons. I was told that those were reserved for Catholics and we Christians did not observe such things. Okay, I have strayed for those teachings. I’m a product of the 50s and 60s and there in lies the act of certain rebellion.
Not all Protestants feel the same way about Holy days and seasons of the church. Many do practice alongside with our Catholic and Orthodox families. I say “families” because we are the people of God, are we not? We are brothers and sisters in His kingdom.
So, what is so special about Lent? Ash Wednesday is this coming week, on Feb. 13. There will be services at some of our churches where you will be able to attend beginning of the season of Lent. Some will take the sign of the cross upon their foreheads with ashes. This is a representation of the practice we read about throughout scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments, as people would place ashes upon their head.
Lent is a special time of abstinence, charity and fasting. Granted, these are acts we should be doing throughout the year but, Lent is a focused time for us to work on our spiritual and physical lives.
Lent is a 40-day journey which bears relationship to the 40 days of fasting which Jesus did prior to entering His public ministry. (Matthew 4:1-11)
Fasting is a Biblical principle which really draws us closer to the Lord. It is a denial of certain things we usually partake of in life. Some say they cannot fast for a long term due to health conditions. I understand that and yet there may be an opportunity to do a partial fast. The Lord will certainly help you and give you guidance in that matter.
As we begin the journey, don’t consider it a religious thing to do but an offering of ourselves to the Lord. Find goodness and reach out to those in need. I think Lent is a great time to rehearse certain practices that we need to continue throughout the year.
Don’t forget to attend an Ash Wednesday service somewhere this Wednesday. If you have never been to an Ash Wednesday service, consider going and, even if you just sit in the pew and observe, that’s okay.
The Most Rev. Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church and can be reached at 614-2160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back in December, I was at a local fast food place.
- A positive minute: Reunions are something to look forward to Donna and I recently made our way to Shelbyville, Illinois where we met up with her siblings and their families at Lake Shelbyville. The campgrounds were well-kept, clean and very peaceful. The rooms and the lodge were very nice.We had a great time w
- We could learn a lesson from rodeo: Either let go...or be dragged A friend who has some experience with rodeo horses sent me a most picturesque proverb: “Let go or be dragged.” Whether this phrase was first spoken by a Zen master who had achieved enlightenment on the mountainside, or by a battered cowboy nursing hi
- Church Briefs Liberty Baptist ChurchSunday, July 20Liberty Baptist Church will have Sunday School in the Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m. with the Lesson being, “Overcome Temptation” from 1 Corinthians 10: 6-22; Devotional Reading: Hebrews 3: 7-14, and Background Script
- Church Briefs Sandcreek Baptist ChurchWhat a wonderful Fourth of July weekend! The weather was perfect and the parade was even bigger and better than last year. Enjoyed seeing all of the children with their bikes, some riding in wagons, etc. Hope you were there to
- Poverty has its advantages I must confess to a severe case of poverty. I never took a vow of poverty; it just seems to have worked out that way for me. I am so poor the church mice have packed their bags and moved on. If I knew where they moved to, I might join them.Being poor
- A positive minute: Facing the wind Do you remember those great stories out of the Old Testament of the Holy Bible?Stories like when Abraham trusted that God would take care of his need when he was about to sacrifice his son and at the last second God provided a lamb thus saving his so
- Church Briefs Sandcreek Baptist ChurchWell, I was right. There’s nothing like the food at a church pitch-in along with cook-out hamburgers and hot dogs.As usual, I ate too much but just had to have some of that blackberry dessert. We had a good day and as usual th
- Keeping the faith: A garden in the wilderness More than a decade ago, former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court installed a massive granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama State Judicial Building. Two years later it was removed by cour
- A positive minute: Never alone Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”Do you remember the movie Home Alone? Somehow this child was left at home when the family left for a vacation. What happens is rather humorous as two bumbling thieves attem
- Identity theft and who you really are I received a mystery package recently, opened it up, and discovered a popular appetite suppressant inside. Sprinkle this magic powder on your food, the included literature instructed, and allegedly it would cooperate with your sense of smell to curb
- More Church Headlines