Lent

ABOUT LENT

Throughout history, the season of Lent was a time of preparation for the celebration of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends as we begin the Triduum of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday). The mood is one of penitence and reflection — a time to meditate prayerfully on the meaning of Christ's suffering and death for our salvation.

The word "Lent" comes from the middle English "lente" (springtime) and the old Anglo-Saxon word "lengten" (the time when days grow longer). It is the holy springtime of our souls, a time for preparation, planting and growth.

By the second century, Christians were preparing for the festival of Easter with a two-day fast. In the third century this was extended to all of Holy Week and, by the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., a forty-day period of fasting was being observed. Originally, this period seems to have begun on the sixth or seventh Sunday before Easter and lasted until Holy Thursday; Sundays may or may not have been included. It took until the sixth century for this to be sorted out. Historically, the season of Lent was developed as a time of fasting, recalling the forty-day temptation in the wilderness after Jesus' baptism.

The Lenten period always had — and still has — an emphasis on baptism, for it was the period when new Christians were prepared for their baptism at the Easter Vigil. It is a time for us to affirm who we are — and Whose we are.


WHY 40 DAYS?

The 40 days of Lent correspond to Jesus' fasting 40 days in the wilderness during which He was tempted by Satan.   The number 40 is of special significance in the Old Testament as well:  
  • Moses spent forty years as a prince of Egypt, 40 years as a shepherd in the desert, and 40 years as a servant of God; he also spent 40 days with the Lord atop Mt. Sinai, neither eating nor drinking, after which God gave him the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.
  • Elijah fasted for forty days and forty nights after Jezebel swore to kill him.
  • Noah and his family  were safe in the ark when it rained for forty days and forty nights.
  • The Israelites wandered forty years to the promised land
  • Jonah gave the citizens of Nineveh forty days to repent.  And they did!
 
THE HOLY DAYS OF LENT
  • Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent in Western Christianity
  • Laetare Sunday – The halfway point from Ash Wednesday to Easter
  • Palm Sunday – Marks the beginning of Holy Week.  The crowds paved the way for Jesus with palm braches as         He rode into the city.
  • Holy Week – The last week of Lent before Easter
  • Maundy Thursday – Thursday of Holy Week when Christians commemorate the Last Supper
  • Good Friday – The day of Christ’s crucifixion
  • Holy Saturday – Depending on denominations, the Easter Vigil begins at sundown on Holy Saturday or at sunrise      on Easter morning.

The Lutheran observance of Lent is commemorative as well as penitential. We regard this season as a time of special spiritual opportunity to contemplate the Passion of Christ, a time of self-examination and repentance, and a time of growth in faith and grace. While it is a somber time of remembrance, it is also a time for joy and rejoicing, for we are saved through the death and resurrection of our Lord.
 

 
LENTEN CHALLENGE

Our baptism sets us on a lifelong journey that is marked by our relationship with the Triune God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ — as well as relationships within our families, our places of employment, our neighborhoods, our communities, and our world.  So then, how do we live out this lifelong journey with God?    What are the distinguishing behaviors, disciplines, and practices of lives lived in and through the crucified Christ? 

During the upcoming season of Lent, we are challenging every member of Holy Cross Lutheran to a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior through growth in five spiritual disciplines.   (Of course, if you're not a member of Holy Cross, you're also welcome to join us!)

Download the challenge here (Word)   or here (PDF).

 

 
PRAYING THROUGH LENT

As part of our 5-fold Lenten Challenge, the members of Holy Cross Lutheran have committed to praying each day during this penetential season.  Along with our individual petitions, we will also have a daily focus on people, organizations, and situations which need our prayers.   You can download these prayer prompts by week in Word or PDF format.

February 10 - February 20                        Word                           PDF

February 21 - February 27                        Word                           PDF

February 28 - March 5                                Word                           PDF

March 6 - 12                                                  Word                           PDF
 
LENTEN  DEVOTIONS
 

During this year's Lenten season, we will travel back 2,000 years to follow the last days of Jesus of Nazareth. He helped countless people by healing diseases and sharing the good news of God's grace. But the religious leaders opposed Him in every way they could and even plotted to take His life. If He was demonstrating God's love in everything He said and did, why did they respond with murderous hatred?

As we work through Luke's account of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection in our daily Lenten devotional series, we will see into the very heart of our Lord and Savior. We'll notice that He always focused on others and never on Himself, teaching us where to look if we truly want to find the only love that really matters.

Click on the date below and read or listen to the day's devotion from "Love's Greatest Sacrifice" by Rev. Wayne Palmer for Lutheran Hour Ministries.  Link should open into a new window.

 

Wed., February 10 Thurs., February 11 Fri., February 12 Sat., February 13 Sun., February 14
Mon., February 15 Tues., February 16 Wed., February 17 Thurs., February 18 Fri., February 19
Sat., February 20 Sun., February 21 Mon., February 22 Tues., February 23 Wed., February 24
Thurs., February 25 Fri., February 26 Sat., February 27 Sun., February 28 Mon., February 29
Tues., March 1 Wed., March 2 Thurs., March 3 Fri., March 4 Sat., March 5
Sun., March 6 Mon., March 7 Tues., March 8 Wed., March 9 Thurs., March 10
Fri., March 11 Sat., March 12 Sun., March 13 Mon., March 14 Tues., March 15
Wed., March 16 Thurs., March 17 Fri., March 18 Sat., March 19 Sun., March 20
Mon., March 21 Tues., March 22 Wed., March 23 Thurs., March 24 Fri, March 25
Sat, March 26 Sun., March 27      


 





Download in Word or PDF format






“Places of the Passion” -  Wednesday and Holy Week Series
 
Our focus in this series will not be on the physical locations of our Lord’s passion, but on the spiritual wonders of His work: the places where He demonstrates His strength in the midst of our weakness, His timeless love in the midst of our temporal darkness.

 
Ash Wednesday February 10
 “The New Passover:
A Place for You”
Divine Service with Holy Communion
and Imposition of Ashes
1:00 & 7:00 pm  
2nd Wednesday in Lent February 17 “The Upper Room:
A Place of Service”
1:00 & 7:00 pm
3rd Wednesday in Lent February 24 “Gethsemane:
A Place of Strength”
1:00 & 7:00 pm
4th Wednesday in Lent March 2 “The Betrayal:
A Place of Eternal Love”
1:00 & 7:00 pm
(6:00 – 6:45 pm - soup and sandwiches)
5th Wednesday in Lent March 9 “The Courtyard:
A Place of Renewal”
1:00 & 7:00 pm
6th Wednesday in Lent March 16 “The Trial:
A Place of God’s Will”
1:00 & 7:00 pm
Palm Sunday March 20 “The Triumphal Entry: 
A Place of Humility”
Divine Service with Holy Communion
 (procession with palms)
10:00 am
Maundy Thursday March 24 “The Last Supper:
A Place of Forgiveness”
Divine Service with Holy Communion (stripping of altar)
1:00 & 7:00 pm  
Good Friday March 25 “Golgotha:
A Place of Simple Love”
Tenebrae Service
7:00 pm
Easter Sunday March 27 “The Empty Tomb:
A Place of Life”
Divine Service with Holy Communion
10:00 am
 
 
 
“Kingdom Parables” -  Sunday Sermon Series
 
During the Sundays in Lent, we will focus on a different parable of Jesus — and how each reveals what we receive in the crucified Christ.
 
1st Sunday in Lent February 14 “The Hidden Treasure
& the Priceless Pearl”
Divine Service with Holy Communion
10 am
2nd Sunday in Lent February 21 “The Pharisee & the
Tax Collector
Divine Service with Holy Communion
10 am
3rd Sunday in Lent February 28 “The Workers in the Vineyard” Divine Service with Holy Communion
10 am
4th Sunday in Lent March 6 “The Prodigal Son” Preschool Children sing during service
(no Holy Communion)   10 am
5th Sunday in Lent March 13 “The Good Samaritan” Divine Service with Holy Communion
10 am
 
God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him might have eternal life. ~ John 3:16