Reflecting and Renewing
Lent and Easter together constitute a most important time in the Christian year.
Lent is a time to reflect on the year past, to take stock of who we are and what we’ve done. With reflection and with prayer, we chart a new course for ourselves for the coming year.
The elements of Lent include self-examination, penitence, self-denial, prayer, alms-giving and preparation for Easter. Through self-examination, we reflect on our thoughts and actions to see where we have followed God’s way and where we have followed our own impulses. We do penitence when we admit that we have gone astray and commit renewing ourselves, to doing better. Self-denial, or “giving up something for Lent”, prayer, which remind us of Jesus’s forty days in the wilderness, and alms-giving, are spiritual disciplines that help us in our reflection and renewal.
Just before Easter, we enter the darkest days of the Christian year. Holy Week starts on a triumphant note on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, which marks Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. Triumph is soon replaced by foreboding, with Jesus foretelling of His death, and with turmoil, denial, and betrayal among the disciples.
On Good Friday we recall Jesus’s suffering and death on the cross. This is the most sombre day of the Christian year as we bear witness to this dramatic climax in the conflict between good and evil.
Easter day itself is the most joyous day of the year. God completes what He started on Good Friday by bringing Jesus back to life. Through His resurrection, death is conquered and we gain the promise of eternal life. As we are thankful for Jesus’s restored life, we remember our Lenten reflections so that we may follow our commitment to renewal in our own lives.
Calendar of Special Services for Lent and Easter 2017
We invite you to be a part of the services at St. John’s during Lent and on the Easter weekend.