Upcoming March 1 to 7

This Week in First Church:

– Sunday, following the service – Choir practice

– Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – Bible study, at Lalaine’s home

– Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. – WMS will meet

– Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. – Worship Committee meeting

– Thursday, 1:30 p.m. – Prayer Time, at Pat Mullins’ apartment

Coming Up:

– Sunday, 8 March – Daylight Saving Time begins

– Sunday, 8 March – Deadline for submissions for the March Newsletter

– Sunday, 29 March – Communion Sunday

The Christian Year – March 1 is the first Sunday in Lent, which is the fourth of the six seasons of the Christian year.  Lent is a season of preparation for Easter.  Like Advent, it is a penitential season in advance of a major festival.  It is a time for us to take stock of our lives, and to get our lives back on track by renewing our commitment to God and to living in his ways.  All of us easily get into bad habits, and Lent is a time to work at recognizing and breaking those habits, and establishing good ones instead.

The season of Lent originated in the early centuries of church history as a time when new converts, mainly adults, were given their final instruction in the Christian faith, in preparation for their baptism on Easter Sunday.  By the Middle Ages, however, it had evolved into a solemn season of penitence and fasting for all Christians, inspired by Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and being tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4.1-11 and parallels).  The length of Lent was therefore set at 40 days (not including Sundays, however, since Sunday, the weekly celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, could not be a day of fasting).  Lent therefore always begins on a Wednesday, 6½ weeks before Easter Sunday — Ash Wednesday.  Since the date of Easter changes from year to year, the date of Ash Wednesday also changes.  The final week of Lent is called Holy Week, and during that week we commemorate the events leading up to and including Jesus’ death on the cross.

The symbolic color for Lent, as for Advent, is purple, signifying preparation and penitence.  The color for Holy Week is red, symbolizing Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross.

Full announcements here