I have two children that are fascinated by calendars and clocks. They know the months of the year, how many days in each month, what day it is today, how many days until the next birthday or holiday. They just seem to like order to their days. The church has order to its days as well. We call it the Christian Church Year.
Now the Church Year actually starts way back at the end of November with Advent. The word “Advent” is from Latin, meaning, “coming into”. Advent prepares us for Jesus coming into the world as a little baby. In the Church year, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and the time before Ash Wednesday is called “The Time of Christmas”.
We are way after Christmas now, and with today, Ash Wednesday, we begin a new time in the Church year called, “The Time of Easter”. The 40 days (not counting Sundays) before the celebration of Easter are called Lent. 40 is a number that shows up frequently in the Bible. The people of Israel wander in the desert for 40 years. It rained 40 days and 40 nights during Noah’s flood. Jesus was in the desert being tempted by the devil for 40 day.
What is Lent? To our family as Lutherans, Lent is a time of repentance and preparation. It is a time to focus on the reason Jesus came to earth at Christmas. He came to suffer and die for our sins. This is what we focus on, our need for a Savior. Lent is a more somber time in our church. They hymns tend to reflect our need for a Savior. Certain parts of the Lutheran service will not be sung during Lent, specifically the Alleluia and the Gloria in Excelsis. We do this so our worship reflects the penitential attitude of the season.
In our family, we begin every morning with a short Worship service. This includes, Bible readings, devotions, hymns and prayers. I love hymns. Wonderful aspects of faith are portrayed beautifully in the words of hymns. I teach a hymn to my children each week. We sing the hymn, and every day go over one of the verses. I do this to make sure that my children understand the concepts contained in the words and to explain vocabulary with which they are not familiar.
To close, I am going to share the words to the hymn that we are learning this week. I chose this one to begin our season of Lent, as it really points out our sin and most important of all, our Savior.
COME TO CALVARY’S HOLY MOUNTAIN
Come to Calv’ry’s holy mountain, Sinners ruined by the fall; Here a pure and healing fountain Flows for you, for me, for all, In a full, perpetual tide, Opened when our Savior died.
Come in poverty and meanness, Come defiled with-out, with-in; From infection and uncleanness, From the leprosy of sin, Wash your robes and make them white, Ye shall walk with God in light.
Come in sorrow and contrition, Wounded, impotent, and blind; Here the guilty, free remission, Here the troubled, peace may find. Health this fountain will restore; They that drink shall thirst no more.
They that drink shall live forever, ‘Tis a soul renewing flood, God is faithful; God will never Break His covenant of blood, Signed when our Redeemer died, Sealed when He was glorified.
.Text: Public Domain
I have decided to link this post up with Trish at A House Upon the Rock. She is hosting a meme called 40 Days of Seeking Him, Lent Season 2011. Click on her blog name to go to her site and read what other bloggers are doing for Lent.