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Lent means time for renewal and to remember blessings

Built on a Rock
Pastor Ann Zastrow, Grace Lutheran Church, Luverne

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent.
In the Christian church, this is a season of 40 days (not including Sundays), beginning Ash Wednesday (this year March 2) and ending Easter Saturday (this year April 16).
It is a season of penitence, repentance, and reflection.
On Ash Wednesday, ashes are put on the forehead, in the shape of a cross, the pastor reminding us, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Psalm 51 is often read, a psalm traditionally said to have been written by King David, after the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba, pointing out his sin.
Sundays are not counted in the 40 days, because each Sunday is a “little Easter” celebration, remembering the day that Jesus rose from the dead.
There are many traditions during Lent.
Some include fasting and/or eating fish on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent (St Catherine’s makes that easy every other Friday, with their delicious fish fry!), giving something up for the season (chocolate, coffee, swearing, etc.), adding something in (saying more prayers, doing good deeds, etc.), or giving alms (donating money to charitable organizations or toward specific projects).
Many traditions hold special mid-week Lenten worship services.
I know Grace has services each Wednesday during Lent at 6:45 p.m., with a simple soup supper beforehand, and I’m sure other churches in the community have similar traditions and opportunities.
The season of Lent gives us a chance to slow down some, reflect on what Christ did on the cross, and look at our own lives to see what areas may need some cleaning up.
Have we treated others kindly? Have we been helpful to family members? Have we looked at others, and tried to see them, and their actions, in the best possible light? Are there things that we have done that we shouldn’t have, and things we haven’t done that we should have, that we need to apologize or atone for? Have we gossiped about someone, passing on untrue information?
These and many other questions can be asked, and answered, at any time, but they are especially appropriate during Lent.
May your Lenten journey be a time of blessing and renewal.

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