If you’ve attended Trinity, or for that matter, most any Lutheran Church in recent years, you know that the word “Lent” is an Old English word meaning "Soup Supper.” Ok... so that’s not quite right, but these wonderful events ARE very much a part of our Lenten Journey together. How could we possibly make it through the cold, dark winter months without home-made soup?

“Lent” really IS an Old English word, but it comes from the word “lencten” or, as we would say today, “lengthen.” It is the season in which the days become longer or lengthen - i.e., “Spring.” (I suggest you Google the word “Lent” and check out the helpful article on Wikipedia, the internet’s “Free encyclopedia,” made up of collaborative articles on an incredible variety of subjects).

Beginning with Ash Wednesday, February 21, we invite you to attend our Wednesday evening devotional services. This year we consider the theme, “Christ on Trial.” It isn’t just a reconsideration of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. The series looks at the way Jesus was judged and condemned by even those he tried to help. Lest you think that this might not be applicable to us today, when is the last time you heard someone blame God for some difficulty in their life and the world? You certainly have heard this sentiment, or perhaps voiced it yourself... at that moment, Jesus is being judged and found wanting - based on our criteria for what we want God to be and do for us. The series will continue through Good Friday, helping us to prepare for the celebration of the Resurrection.

Because of the more solemn nature of the Ash Wednesday service, there will be no soup supper that day. It’s a day of repentance, a day of preparation - usually characterized by fasting, prayer and self-examination. The focal point of the service is a brief ceremony in which each worshipper (who wishes it) is marked with the sign of the cross on the forehead with a mixture of ashes and olive oil. The ashes come from palms from last year’s Palm Sunday service - a service at which we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, in which he was first welcomed as king and then turned on by those who judged him not to be the kind of Messiah they were looking for, moving quickly from hailing him as Conquering King to calling for his crucifixion. Palm Sunday exposes our fickleness and faithlessness; Ash Wednesday acknowledges it before God and others and begins the journey of self-examina­tion, confession, repentance and healing that prepares us truly for the Celebration of Easter.

We hope you can join us for these brief weekly moments of refreshment , fellowship and meditation during this Lenten season. Opportunities for such things are much too rare in our busy lives.

Blessings & Peace!

Pastor Larry