On Ash Wednesday we begin our forty-day journey toward Easter with a day of fasting and repentance. Marking our foreheads with dust, we acknowledge that we die and return to the earth. At the same time, the dust traces the life-giving cross indelibly marked on our foreheads at baptism. While we journey through Lent to return to God, we have already been reconciled to God through Christ. We humbly pray for God to make our hearts clean while we rejoice that “now is the day of salvation.” Returning to our baptismal call, we more intentionally bear the fruits of mercy and justice in the world.
Drive Through Ashes: Come in your car to be marked on your forehead with the sign of the cross of Christ. We are offering “drive-through” ashes on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd from 7:30am – 9:00 am and 5:00pm – 6:30 pm for all who wish to participate.
Ash Wednesday Evening Worship: At 7pm on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd, Come to the church building or join us online ( https://www.facebook.com/SOVGJ) for Worship that will include the imposition of ashes and communion.
At Home Ash Wednesday Kit: If you are unable to make it to the church building on Ash Wednesday, we have ashes for you to use at home. Please contact Bill Skinner (Office Administrator) to receive an At Home Ash Wednesday Kit.
WHAT IS LENT?
Lent is a season when we turn toward God and think about how our lives need to change. This is also a time to remember our baptism, and how that gift gives us a new start every day! The color for Lent is purple, symbolizing repentance. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays) and ends on the Saturday before Easter Sunday.
Lutheran Handbook: A Field Guide to Church Stuff, Everyday Stuff, and the Bible (p. 80). Augsburg Fortress. Kindle Edition.
Weekly Lenten Wednesday Services
Starting Wednesday, March 9th through all of Lent we will be joining with Crossroads United Methodist Church for Soup suppers (5:30pm-6:30om), Stations of the Cross (6:30-7:00) and Holden Evening Prayer (7:00-7:30) Please see the full schedule below.
Station of the Cross
Stations 1 & 2:
Sorrow & Betrayal
Station 1: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Station 2: Jesus, Betrayed by
Judas, is Arrested
Stations 3 & 4:
Condemnation & Denial
Station 3: Jesus is Condemned
by the Sanhedrin
Station 4: Jesus is Denied by Peter (Matthew 26:69-75)
Crossroad United Methodist Church
Stations 5 & 6: Judgement & Crowning
Station 5: Jesus is Judged
(Mark 15:1-5, 15)
Station 6: Jesus is Scourged and
Crowned with Thorns
Stations 7 & 8:
Bearing & Helping
Station 7: Jesus Bears the
Cross (Luke 22:66-71)
Station 8: Jesus is Helped by
Simon the Cyrenian to Carry
the Cross (Mark 15:21)
Crossroad United Methodist Church
Stations 9: Blessing
Station 9: Jesus Meets the
Women of Jerusalem
Palm & Passion Sunday
On Palm Sunday, we follow Christ from triumphal entry to the cross, each waypoint of the journey marked by Jesus’ compassion for those who would betray, mock, accuse, or do violence to him. Though persecuted and beaten, Jesus the Son of God is not disgraced; instead, he asks forgiveness for those who put him to death. We have walked the Lenten pathway these forty days, each of us invited through baptism to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” We enter this holy week accompanying Jesus to the cross with both grief and thanksgiving in our hearts, trusting in God’s redeeming love.
The Three Days
The Three Days are the most important part of the Christian calendar because they mark Jesus’ last days, death, and resurrection. These days (approximately three 24-hour periods) begin on Maundy Thursday evening and conclude on Easter evening. On Maundy Thursday we hear the story of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and his act of service and love in washing their feet. On Good Friday we hear of Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, death, and burial. On Saturday, at the nighttime Easter Vigil, we hear stories about the amazing things God has done for us. It is a night of light, Scripture readings, baptismal remembrance, and communion—the greatest night of the year for Christians. (Lutheran Handbook: A Field Guide to Church Stuff, Everyday Stuff, and the Bible (pp. 80-81). Augsburg Fortress. Kindle Edition. )
This evening our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Tonight we remember Christ’s last meal with his disciples, but the central focus is his commandment that we live out the promise embodied in this meal. As Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, so we are called to give and receive love in humble service to one another. Formed into a new body in Christ through this holy meal, we are transformed by the mercy we have received and carry it into the world. Departing worship in solemn silence, we anticipate the coming days.
Life and death stand side by side as we enter into Good Friday. In John’s passion account, Jesus reveals the power and glory of God, even as he is put on trial and sentenced to death. Standing with the disciples at the foot of the cross, we pray for the whole world in the ancient bidding prayer, as Christ’s death offers life to all. We gather in solemn devotion, but always with the promise that the tree around which we assemble is indeed a tree of life. We depart silently, and we anticipate the culmination of the Three Days in the Easter Vigil.
This is the night of salvation! At the Vigil of Easter, we gather around fire, word, water, bread, and wine, proclaiming through story and song that ours is a God who continuously brings life out of death. On this night we experience again the heart of God’s baptismal promise and the center of our faith: we are claimed and cleansed, renewed in the death and resurrection of Christ. We gather with all the saints of every time and place to celebrate the good news: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!