Yesterday, was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season for Christians worldwide. Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran and various other denominations have a service where priest or pastors impose ashes in a form of a cross on parishioner’s foreheads. The imposition of ashes mean many things but personally to me it is a reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Just in December Christians celebrated the birth of Christ. And each year depending upon when Easter Sunday is determined we begin the celebration of Lent as early as February. Quite simply Easter Sunday is determined to be the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox. Yes, I know it had me scratching my head too!
For me the holiest of times is Easter because it is the reason for which Jesus Christ was born. That is correct he was born to ultimately die for our sins. I know it is heady stuff but it is the foundation of the Christian faith. After a three-year spiritual journey, I chose to convert to Lutheranism and joined a Lutheran church last October. This was after much soul searching and attending various churches with my husband, friends and solo. Ultimately what lead me to the Lutheran faith was their doctrine which follows my beliefs.
I will not get into the details but I will say that each of us had to have our own faith walk. I know many people of varying faiths. Those who are even atheists and agnostics. I know people of Muslim faith, my husband is Catholic and yes I am Protestant and have always been. I know Methodist and even Buddhist. Part of what lead me to Lutheran faith is it embraces those who believe otherwise and does not choose to condemn.
Looping back to the point of this post, I feel most serene and focused during the Lenten Season. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifice that was made for us by Jesus Christ. I am not a theologian and will not get into a discussion of various faiths and their validity. I will say for me personally repenting by sacrificing something or like my husband collecting change to give to a charity cleanses our spirit.
In addition to the closeness I feel to God. I also reflect on the life of my late mother. She also enjoyed this time of year. My mom made angel wings for her church’s Easter program and they are still being used some six years later. When I was a child we enjoyed dying eggs in all fun swirling colors. And I always received a fun Easter basket. Shopping for a new dress and shiny shoes was an adventure. My mom died a few days prior to Palm Sunday and I chose to have her funeral service on Good Friday of that year. It seemed only fitting for a woman who was humble and a servant of God.
Finally, I am looking forward to see where this year’s Lenten journey leads me. I have decided that the book “The Purpose Driven Life” is not something I need to read. For the last few years I have tried reading, thinking that I would get a big reveal of what my life should be. But I realize that listening to God and following the direction he pushes me toward, I am living my purpose. Though I have found a new church home my spiritual journey continues and will do so until my final breath.
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