Last week, we marked the beginning of the Lent with Ash Wednesday. If you are unfamiliar with the church season of Lent, it is the forty days leading up to Easter and is a season of preparation and repentance. The number forty carries biblical significance based on the forty years Israel spent in the wilderness and Jesus’ forty-day fast in the wilderness, which we will hear more about today.

As we journey through this season of preparation and repentance you may notice some differences in worship. Things like no vocal announcements, a broader confession liturgy after the sermon, and extinguishing candles will offer us space to prepare for the death and resurrection of Christ.

Our hope at Bethany is that your experience in worship during Lent prepares you for a posture of self-reflection and examine throughout the week. On Ash Wednesday we read texts from the book of Jonah. We wonder how we might be like Jonah. Are we quick to run from God’s call, quick to condemn others?

Instead, we need to slow down and take a hard look in the mirror. Why are we running from God? Who do you think does not deserve God’s mercy?

Perhaps you can find some space during this season of Lent to slow down and seeing how God is moving in your life today. Become aware of God’s presence; review your day with gratitude, and choose one feature of the day and pray from it.

Blessings on you in the holy season of Lent.

We will mark Holy Week with Palm Sunday on April 9, Maundy Thursday on April 13 at 7:00pm, and Easter on April 16 at 7:15am, 9:00am, and 10:45am

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