Fats and Ashes

By Pastor Mark McAdow
Fats and ashes – we celebrate both next week.  This Tuesday, Feb. 21, is Mardi Gras or better known as “Fat Tuesday!”  Historically it’s the day before Ash Wednesday when people used to eat all the sweets and/or fats in their houses in preparation for the season of Lent.  It was a day of feasting and preparation, not the raucous party of New Orleans fame today.  It was a time to feast but also to consider what one would plan on doing to honor Jesus for his sacrifice during Lent.

Many people choose to “give something up” for Jesus during Lent, though that is not required.  I often give up desserts for health and spiritual reasons, but I also like to wear a cross every day as a tangible reminder to me and others what Christ has done for each of us.  Others may give up social media or entertainment or other pleasures in order to focus more on Jesus.  That’s the goal: focusing on the One who gave his all for you and me.

Lent comes from the word “Lenten” meaning “springtime” and is the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, not counting the Sundays.  Forty is a significant number in the Bible. Moses received the Ten Commandments over 40 days. The children of God wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.  Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days too.  It’s our opportunity to prepare our hearts to remember and celebrate the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.

We will host our Ash Wednesday service this Wednesday evening, Feb. 22, for the entire church family at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary.  We will sing hymns, offer prayers, hear a Lenten devotional and conclude by receiving the sign of the cross on our foreheads – literally marking our bodies with the cross.  Quintin, Ashley or I will mark each person gathered for the service.

We will begin our six-week Lenten study, “When God Speaks,” written by Henry and Richard Blackaby the next day, with our personal study. Then we will meet on either Tuesday morning, Feb. 28, at 9 a.m. or Wednesday evening, March 1, at 6 p.m. in a small group to share our first thoughts and discoveries.  Nothing is more important in the Christian life than hearing from our Heavenly Father!  I invite you to join us for these six weeks.

Looking forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.  Come and invite a new friend.  God is at work at Willow View.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Mark

PS: Thanks to each of you who have turned in your commitment card in these last weeks.  We’re looking forward to hearing from even more of you as well. Blessings!

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