The Season of Lent

February is the month of love. It is always a joy to celebrate 'LOVE' in all its forms. Each year, many people excitedly look forward to celebrating Valentine's Day and showing their love for one another in sweet and simple ways. This year, Valentine's Day has a bit of a different feel to it. This year, Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day. So, as you are thinking about hearts, flowers, and chocolate for your sweeties (friends, spouses, partners, kids, grandkids, etc.) and what special way you can show them how much you love them, I encourage you to stop and think about the greatest 'valentine' - the greatest act of love - ever given to you and me.

On Ash Wednesday, we come together to commemorate the beginning of Lent. On that day, we receive the mark of an ashen cross on our foreheads to remind us of our own mortality - that we are created of the dust of the earth and to that dust our bodies will return when our earthly life is over. The ashes are also a sign of the sins that keep us separate from God. By accepting and wearing their mark upon our foreheads, we publicly offer our repentance and acceptance of our participation in the corruption of our world that led to Jesus' death on the cross.

Through Christ's amazing act of sacrificial love in dying for us, we know that our sins are finally wiped clean and we are forgiven. We recognize that through Christ's resurrection, the end of our earthly body is not the final answer for us. That we too shall be resurrected - born again - into God's realm where our souls will live out eternity in perfect peace and love.

God wants more for us than just life eternal upon the end of our earthly existence. God sent Jesus - born of the flesh - to live among us and show us how to live a full and faithful life now. God's everlasting love and peace are ours each day, if we but just believe! Flowers will die, chocolate will be eaten or expire, but God's promises and love are eternal. This year, give the gift of faith and eternal life for Valentine's Day. Say 'YES' to Jesus invitation to 'follow me!' and invite your loved ones to share the journey.

Blessings and love, Pastor Brenda