Pastor’s Pen

The Reverend Alvin Shrum, Pastor

Greetings Dear Members and Friends of St. Johannes Lutheran Church!

The somber season of Lent is upon us. On Tuesday, March 5th, we will have Shrove Tuesday event, which a festive prelude to the actual start of Lent. At 6 PM we will have a joint Shrove Tuesday meal with our brothers and sisters from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. This Mardi Gras style of celebration will include wonderful fellowship and a huge, delicious meal before we embark of the 40 days of Lent.

With Lent beginning on Wednesday, March 6th , we will have our Ash Wednesday services at Noon and 6:00 PM. Ash Wednesday is not a national holiday but a day of Christian observance to recall our sin and humanity. It is the beginning of the Church season of Lent that will take us on a 40 day journey of reflection, prayer, and repentance.

Still, some people wonder about the ways that Christians have traditionally celebrated Ash Wednesday. Why the ashes? Why a somber experience?

Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) reminds us of our human frailty and mortality. Lent is a time in the church year to remember the suffering and death of Jesus… and that He died because of our sin. The proper response to our sin is one of repentance:

  • sorrow for our sins,
  • turning away from sinful behavior, and
  • turning to Jesus for forgiveness and help.

2 Corinthians chapter 7 reminds us that “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to God’s eternal peace and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

So, in seeking to sincerely live sorrow and repentance in the season of Lent, remember your mortality through the experience and
imposition of ashes, and claim God’s gift of purification and salvation.

Equally, Lent is a time for Christians to remember Jesus’ sacrifice of love, and a time to begin preparing for Holy Week and the victory celebration of Easter Sunday.

Thus, I personally invite you to embark on your Lenten journey as we worship each Sunday at 10 AM and at the Wednesday mid-week Ansonborough Lenten services at noon throughout the season.

I pray our Lenten observance and the activities at St. Johannes will point each of us to the amazing, sacrificial love of Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. So come, join us as we repent, embrace forgiveness, and as people of faith, journey to the cross of victory, together.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Alvin Shrum