Season of Lent

Lent is a 40 day Christian festival that begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Easter (Sundays are not counted).  To begin this holy season, on Ash Wednesday some churches invite their members to come forward and receive the imposition of ashes.  The Pastor applies ashes in the shape of a cross on the forehead of each while speaking the words, “For dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). This practice is to remind Christians of their sinfulness, mortality, of their need to repent, and how greatly we need God’s mercy in Christ.  That theme is to be with us throughout the entire season, for Lent is a penitential season, one of repentance and sorrow for sin.  Lent prepares us for the observance of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection for us.  The liturgical color for Lent is purple.  This deep, rich color has come to represent somberness and solemnity, penitence, and prayer.  Jesus wore a purple robe only once.  As the soldiers mocked and tormented Him, the Scriptures record they placed on Him a “purple garment” in order to ridicule Him and belittle the claim that he was King of the Jews.  Thus, purple is also a reminder of the contempt and scorn he endured, and the subsequent sacrifice he made for our eternal salvation.  May this holy season remind us of our daily need to humbly give attention to leading a life of repentance, as we follow our Savior’s footsteps to the cross on which he suffered for our redemption.