Today is Ash Wednesday, a special day in church calendars around the world that marks the beginning of Lent. Over the next 40 days, disciples around the world will anticipate the celebration of Easter by reminding themselves in particular ways of their dependence on God and his grace. These reminders often take the form of fasting, praying, reading, and other practices that help them reflect on their lives and repent of their sin. Much like Advent builds up excitement for celebrating Jesus’ incarnation on Christmas, the season of Lent draws hearts into a posture of humility before celebrating Jesus’ resurrection on Easter.
The season of Lent can take different forms and mean different things to different churches. While The Village doesn’t have any formal practices during the season of Lent, we value the rhythms and history of the church calendar that draw us regularly into parts of God’s story and connect us with God’s people through the generations. So we encourage you to learn about the Lenten season and invite you to participate over the next 40 days in whatever ways you feel led.
Last year, we compiled a short Season Setup (much like our Sermon Series Setups!) to introduce Lent to The Village. Linked here, this PDF will offer a bit of background on the season, some discussion about the practice of fasting, lists of helpful Lenten resources, and more.
Today on Ash Wednesday, we remember our humble beginnings… and ending: that we’re all dust, and to dust we will return (Genesis 3:19). You may see some people with ashes on their forehead, tangibly symbolizing that our life is entirely dependent upon the will and power of God our Creator. This is where Lent bleakly begins before ending on Easter in a triumph of life over death, righteousness over sin, and God over Satan through the resurrection of Jesus.