Friday, February 28, 2020

Time for Lent

I know it's been quite a while since anyone has heard from me.  After the holidays both the Inspector and I came down with bad colds which kept us out of commission for a couple of weeks.  Once we were both feeling better, I started turning my thoughts towards planning a trip south to the sunshine.  We have just recently returned rested and refreshed and I will be sharing more about that later.  This week though we have been preparing our hearts for the Lenten season.
When our children were young, we were attending less liturgical and more evangelical churches, but now as a Lutheran I have been moving more and more toward my own childhood Anglican roots.  I find for myself that the liturgical calendar deeply enriches my Christian walk, while also remembering that it does not take the place of  God's grace.

I was able to put together a presentation on the history of Lent for my Bible study group which was well received, and I was happy to see members of my group were present for Ash Wednesday two nights ago. 

By Sunday the paraments and banners will be changed from green to purple but for that night it was just the lights around the cross that were changed. 

We also celebrated Shrove Tuesday this year.  My husband just smiled at me as I fed him pancakes for supper.  He's not all that in to eating breakfast for dinner, but he was good natured about it.  

The word Shrove comes from an old middle aged word Shriven which means confess.  People would go to confession the day before Ash Wednesday. and so it became known as Shriven Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.  It was also the day before Lenten fasts would begin and so people would use up all their oil and dairy products that wouldn't keep over the 40 days.  Pancakes were an easy solution. Growing up, I remember my church would hold an annual pancake dinner every year on Shrove Tuesday. It was always a fun night of fellowship before Lent began.  Many people call it Mardi Gras which is French for Fat Tuesday.

 My grandmother had a wonderful buttermilk pancake recipe that I use often, but for dinner I used a whole wheat and high protein mix that was hopefully a healthier alternative.

 This year I am using these two books for my daily Lenten readings.  I really like the Pauses for Lent as it focuses in on just one word for each day.

I have also put together a simple Lenten Centerpiece that is a nice physical and visual way to focus in on my devotion time.

The sand represents the forty days Jesus wandered in the desert being tempted by Satan.  The little bowl of water represents baptism.  The candle is actually more purple than it looks in this photo.  Purple is the liturgical color for Lent.  This candle has three wicks which for me represents The Trinity.  We are placing one rock next to the candle each day to represent the person we are praying for that day.  We placed our third rock today.  I also placed a cross made from olive wood on the sand to remind me that this journey of reflection and repentance is ultimately leading me to the cross of salvation and grace.

Whether or not you celebrate the season of Lent, I hope you enjoyed hearing a little bit about it and I pray God's hand of blessing will be upon each of you that stop by.