Ash Wednesday

 
“You are dust, and to dust you will return”Genesis 3:19, NET

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality.

 
In The Beginning
Most people believe that Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter, is about giving things up, but there is so much more than that. Scholars believe that Lent’s original intent was for new Christians preparing for baptism on Easter. In the earliest days of the church, a strict fast would be observed for only a few days leading up to Easter, but in 325 AD, the Council of Nicea discussed a 40-day Lenten season of fasting that was soon embraced by the whole church as a way to journey with those preparing for baptism and as a way to renew their own faith. Later, the 40-day Lent journey was geared toward restoring those who had grievously sinned back into the church community.
 
And Now
In the 600’s, Gregory the Great (c.540-604) moved it to a Wednesday, now called Ash Wednesday, to secure the exact number of 40 days in Lent—not counting Sundays, which were mini-Easters or feast days—to echo the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry. As Christians came to the church for forgiveness, Gregory marked their foreheads with ashes reminding them of the biblical symbol of repentance (sackcloth and ashes) and mortality: “You are dust, and to dust you will return” (Gen 3:19)
 
Join Us
Today, in 2019, that main focus of Lent remains. It is a season of spiritual preparation, a season of fasting, reflection and renewal for the celebration of Easter. If you are looking to deepen your walk with God, embark on the Lenten journey over these next 6 ½ weeks and take a closer look at the spiritual disciples: prayer and worship, self-denial, repentance, and almsgiving and then end with the celebration of the resurrection. Join us as we explore the example of Christ, that we might strive to live a life that is an honor to Him. Join us this season with our study material, special services of worship and prayer.
We will have a special Ash Wednesday Service at 6:00 pm, March 6th. For more information, please call the church, 903/759-7634.
 

White Oak United Methodist Church

503 W. Center St.  White Oak, TX 75693

903-759-7634 ● grace@whiteoakumc.com