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On the Journey...
Monthly Insight From Pastor Phil Yoder
March 13, 2019
This month we enter into the season of spring, but before we get to that, we enter into the season of Lent. Lent is the forty days before Easter, not including Sundays. Sunday, for Christians, has always been a day to celebrate our risen Lord and his indescribable victory over sin, Satan, and death. The number of days, forty, was chosen to coincide with the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness, in which Jesus clarified his calling, and prepared himself for his ministry.
These forty days before Easter were set aside by the early church for its members to re-examine their lives and to rededicate themselves to Christ. It was also used to prepare baptismal candidates for their baptism. The significance of baptizing on Easter is that just as Jesus rose from the grave with new life, so Christians are born again with new Spiritual life, and more than that, Christians literally share in the Resurrected Life of our risen Lord, a life which death can never claim.
Today, Lent is practiced in most Christian Churches as a season of soul-searching and repentance in preparation for Holy Week. Individual Christians imitate Jesus’ withdrawal into a wilderness by committing themselves to some kind of a fast, giving up something they enjoy, and entering into a time of self-examination, self-denial, and seeking God for a period of forty days before Easter.
Our Lenten worship theme at First Mennonite this year will take us on a journey through the seven “I AM” sayings of Jesus that we find in John’ Gospel, in which Jesus stakes his claim to Divinity, and tells us what he does for those who follow Him on their journey toward God.
I invite us all to enter into this holy season of Lent by prayer, fasting, and self–denial, by reading and meditating on God's Holy Word, by being sensitive to the leading and nudges of God’s Holy Spirit, and then by recommitting our lives to God. And I also invite us all to read through the Gospel of John in preparation for our worship times together.