“A Time for a Spiritual Inventory”

Throughout Scripture, we can find examples of ashes.  Sitting on them or putting them on your head were rituals of mourning and repentance (2 Samuel 13:19; Isaiah 58:5; Jeremiah 6:26; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21).  For Christians today, Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent.

Lent was originally the period of pre-baptismal preparation for Christians, and later of public penance.  In the Church of God history, there would have been a “sinners bench” in the bethel where people would sit during the worship service and repent of their sins.  This is not something we see people doing today.  We have become prideful and private.  Publically admitting our sins goes against our comfort and our way of life.

In more recent years, Lent has become a forty-five day devotional preparation for Easter.  (Sundays are not included in this count.)  It is a time when many Christians  prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.  This tradition is based on Jesus’  fast in the wilderness (Mark 1:13).

Personally, I like to use this season as a time to add or improve a spiritual discipline in my life.  This may be a time of fasting, but it may also be an increase in personal Bible study, more time in prayer, more quiet time and meditation, or reading a book that will help me grow in my walk with Christ.  I hope that you will consider doing something this Lenten season that will draw you into a closer relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This year, the Easter Season is coming early, and Ash Wednesday is on February 10th.  There will be a service of healing and anointing in the sanctuary that will begin at 7:00pm.  The order of service was inspired by the booklet, Prayer for Hope: Words of Faith for Difficult Times (Upper Room Ministries), and will include prayer, scripture reading and song.  There will also be a time when you will be invited to receive prayer and anointing from one of the elders for physical, spiritual or emotional healing.

Scripture tells us when we are sick we are to “call for the elders of the church and have them pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14)

The service will also provide and opportunity for confession and repentance.  James tells us to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)  What a great opportunity to let go of our sins and give them over to God who “does not keep a record of wrongs.”

Take a spiritual inventory this month.  How is your walk?  How can you take a step closer to the one who loves you?

Pastor Stef



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April 2021