We have turned the corner into February and that means that Lent is on the way. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a day traditionally marked by intentional piety and somber worship, which usually includes the imposition of ashes. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14, Valentine’s Day. So yes, we are in a kind of dilemma.
On the one hand, if you have a spouse or some significant other, no doubt you want to do something special that evening. On the other hand, the annual worship service on Ash Wednesday is a meaningful, poignant start to the most introspective season of the Christian calendar. Typically, we begin worship at 7pm.
The worship and music committee discussed this dilemma at length at their January meeting, and the following solution was adopted: Ash Wednesday worship will happen at 6pm, and it will be a “stripped down” worship service that retains the spirit and meaningfulness of the penitence that typically marks Ash Wednesday service, while accommodating those who may have additional plans. Jason Largent, our music director and I, have planned what we believe to be an introspective and profound worship service.
If you are having an early Valentine’s Dinner and want to conclude your evening with worship, or you wish to attend worship and then head out to a late dinner, hopefully this shift in time to 6pm will work.
As Lent draws near, I encourage everyone to take time to draw near near to Christ. It’s sometimes meaningful to adopt a special habit for the 40 days leading up to holy week – additional Bible study, a time for prayer. Whatever you choose, I hope and pray that the season will be one where your faith in and reliance on Jesus Christ will be deepened in the most meaningful ways.
Yours in Christ,