Letterman style ‘Top Ten’ about Lent

Justin Kollmeyer's picture

“May God bless you as you ponder these significant things in this significant time.”

In a few weeks on Feb. 25 we’ll celebrate “Ash Wednesday.” For those of us who use liturgical seasons to guide us through the church year, this will begin the season we call “Lent.”

Many of you have heard of Lent, and many of you celebrate Lent. Consisting of 40 days before Easter, not counting the Sundays, Lent has significant and interesting history and meaning.

Here’s a David Letterman-style Top 10 about Lent:

No.10. The original period of Lent was 40 hours. It was spent in fasting to commemorate the suffering of Christ. Then it became 30 days, then 36, and finally, in the reign of Charlemagne, about 800 AD, 40 days, not including the Sundays.

No. 9. The 40 days of Lent correspond to Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness, being tempted by the devil.

No. 8. The date of Lent is determined by the date of Easter. The Council of Nicaea determined in 325 AD that Easter would be observed on the first Sunday following the 14th day of the Paschal moon.

No. 7. The earliest that Lent can begin is Feb. 5, which is quite unusual. This year’s Lent has a quite typical start and end. (Easter is April 12.)

No. 6. The latest that Lent can start is March 10. It won’t be that late again until 2038.

No. 5. Lent comes from the old English word for spring, “lenten” (when the days “lengthen” with more sunlight).

No. 4. The wearing of sackcloth and ashes is a custom for showing repentance going back to the Old Testament times. Many Christians remember this custom on Ash Wednesday by marking foreheads with an ash cross, using the ashes of the previous year’s burned Palm Sunday palms.

No. 3. The day before Ash Wednesday, Shrove Tuesday, is celebrated in many parts of the world with feasting. The French call it Mardi Gras. The feasting comes from the custom of using up household fats prior to the 40 days of Lenten fasting when no fat is used.

So far ... Numbers 10 down through 3 about Lent are interesting facts, but they are not really very important.

But the last two are the most important...

No. 2. The one important fact in your life is this — that Jesus died that your sins can be forgiven. A fact so simple ... so familiar to many ... so ignored by many ... so unknown to so many ... yet so huge, so wonderful that it is hard to grasp. That is why Christians observe Lent — to set 40 days aside to think more deeply about Christ’s death and what it means in our lives.

And No. 1. Lent gives you another chance to think about your sins and what it means that Jesus died for them. It gives you another chance to review your life, another chance to grow in your faith and love.

Lent is a time to be close to God — closer than you have ever been. It is a time to attend worship more regularly, to pray more often, to read the Bible more diligently, and to invite others to do these great things with you.

This Lenten season can be the most important 40 days in your life — your life here and now — and in determining where you will spend your eternal life.

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Submitted by jkollmeyer on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 11:25pm.

Please scroll down to Columnists and read my article on Lent. THANKS! Pastor Justin Kollmeyer Smiling

Submitted by jkollmeyer on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 11:21pm.

I'm INVITING ALL to come to our "Ash Wednesday" Services, February 25th, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, located in Fayetteville on Hwy. 314 between Lowe's and The Pavilion! Traditional Service in The Sanctuary at 6:00 p.m. and a Contemporary Service in The Life Center at 7:15 p.m. Ash Crosses will be available for the foreheads of those who choose.(Not mandatory...your choice!). Some have said that this is the most "impressive" service of the entire year! GUESTS and VISITORS WELCOME! For more information log onto www.princeofpeacefayette.com or call me, Pastor Justin Kollmeyer, at 770-461-3403. I always say, "God loves you! And so do I !! I'll greet you at the door!" (COME SEE US!)

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