The Tangible Reminder of God's Love
“I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” - Galatians 6:17b
So, how many pancakes did you eat last night?
If you ate any, it was more than I did. We had homemade Chinese food - Bridgette made some excellent fried rice!
Yesterday was Mardi Gras, which is french for Fat Tuesday - also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. The name comes from the idea that it is the last opportunity to eat rich, fattening food before the fasting season of Lent begins.
You may not participate in the fasting practices of the ancient and medieval churches or our contemporary Roman Catholic or Orthodox brothers and sisters. But we, as a community, do take notice and specifically mark out this season as preparation for the celebration of Easter.
In today’s busy world, it’s even more important.
The older I get, the more I recognize that things don’t creep up on me - they crash into me, rushing at 100 miles per hour! I need to keep my head up, I need to keep watching, paying attention, marking the times and the season, so that when they do, I’m ready.
Christmas is like that. It takes intentionality to be ready. We have the season of Advent for that. Although… I’d argue for lengthening it!
Easter is like that too. And I’m grateful that we have six and a half weeks of Lent to prepare! We need this time, I need this time, to be ready to celebrate, to be ready to recognize, to be ready to fully experience the amazing presence of Jesus and the work he has done, that we celebrate at Easter.
Tonight, we will begin this season with a special Ash Wednesday service. If you’ve never been, I encourage you to come out. It’s decidedly different from Sunday mornings. And this year, we’ll take some time to address just what the purpose of this day and these ashes really are.
You may be surprised.
And I hope you’ll also be encouraged. To receive the visible mark of Christ, the cross, is to receive a visible and tangible reminder of God’s love.
Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,