Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent, falls this year at the end of February. During the service of Holy Communion, we had that evening we also have a visual reminder of our ‘falling short’ or sinfulness when we if we choose too have a small mark of Ash placed on our foreheads.
This ash is made from previous Palm Crosses that have been burnt and mixed with Holy Oil. The sentence that is said as we receive this is ‘Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ’. It is a very special moment of rededicating our lives to Jesus, realising how we all slip and slide in our behaviour occasionally.
Lent is then the time when we consider where we might be ‘going wrong’ or where we have fallen short and asking for help to change. We all need help because we are human and not perfect yet. So, during Lent we try to abstain from or give up something, and take something on new, which we hope will take us out of our comfort zone; that will make us more dependent on God and look to Him for help. This is not a time for judging each other, rather a time for helping each other. It’s good to share what we have decided to do that might be a challenge so that we too can help each other.
In our Lent course this year we will look at the Creeds – the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. Creeds are basically a short summary of what Christians believe. We say one of them during our services and sometimes they can become so familiar that we say them without thinking about what they mean. So, during the course we will be exploring the reason the Creeds were developed and looking at what role they play in Christian life and faith today.
The course will, I hope help us, particularly this Lent as we begin that rededication of our lives to God, to consider the way we live.
Do come and join us on Tuesday evenings at 7pm from March 3rd for five weeks if you would like to explore and hopefully understand more about the Creeds and what they have to offer us today.
With best wishes for a holy Lent