The season of Lent is a “season” of the Church Year – a time for somber reflection on our sin and our sinful nature. It is a time for penitence and confession and a time to receive God’s forgiveness – to hear with new ears and open hearts and minds how much our God loves us. As the liturgical year developed in the Christian church, Lent became a forty-day penitential period that corresponded with the forty days of prayer and fasting that Jesus spent in the wilderness before starting His earthly ministry. The season of Lent led up to the annual remembrance of His crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday. The six Sundays of Lent are technically not counted as a part of the forty days of Lent since each are intended to be “mini-Easters” that lead up to the full celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Even still, during the Sundays of Lent the Sunday services are somewhat muted in their expression of praise: for instance, the Hymn of Praise is omitted from the Sunday services and some churches, like ours, refrain from singing or saying “Alleluia.” We do have to remember that these practices are devotional choices and preferences on our part. They are not practiced universally throughout Christendom and should not be regarded as “commandments” or absolute requirements.
The season of Lent prepares us for the observance of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection during Holy Week. In order to make your walk with Christ as full as it can be, please plan now to attend your Holy Week services. Our services at Trinity Lutheran Church in Peoria are at 12:00 noon and 6:45 p.m. Maundy Thursday services on March 28, our Tenebrae Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. on March 29, our Easter Vigil service at 6:00 p.m. on March 30, and our Easter Sunday services on March 31. Call 309-676-4609 for more information or visit www.trinitypeoria.com.