Today is the first day of Lent – the start of a 40 day preparation for the coming Easter.
Many churches call this day Ash Wednesday as they offer the marking of the cross on the forehead of believers and this marking is done with ashes. It is a mark of repentance of sins and a desire to grow closer to God through Jesus in our actions, thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, etc.
In the ancient church, Lent was a time when a new believer prepared for their baptism, usually on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It was a time of teaching, praying, meditating, fasting and repentance.
The 40 days of Lent reflects the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness as he prepared for his ministry and mission.
Our church family, Faith Evangelical Free Church, is in the midst of a 24 hour fast as I write this. We’ll have a time of prayer tonight, followed by the breaking of the fast with a soup and bread potluck.
For Betty and me, fasting from food is not an option because of some prescriptions we take that require food. So, we have kept the TV off and used this time to refocus on how much God loves us and what Jesus did for us on the cross.