February 18, 2020

January 27, 2020

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The Prophets Series: Week 4 - Amos

February 27, 2020

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February 18, 2020


Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”


In just over a week’s time, one of the most important period of the Christian and Church’s calendar begins. This is the period of Lent


Lent is traditionally described as lasting for 40 days, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, immediately after his baptism in the river Jordan and just before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. 


Lent is technically 46 days if you include the Sundays up to Easter Day. 


Lent is a gift really, for those who wish to receive it. For many Christians, it is a period of reflection and reconciliation with God. A period we reflect on the awesome sacrifice that God made for us through the obedience of Christ Jesus to death, death on a cross; So that whosoever believes in him would be saved and have life everlasting in God’s loving kingdom. 


Jesus’ journey to death on the cross is remembered yearly and magnified during the period of Lent leading up to his crucifixion on Good Friday and culminating in his triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday. This journey in the church’s calendar begins on Ash Wednesday. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on the 26th of February with many churches up and down the country and globally administering the customary ‘ash’ on Christian’s foreheads. 


What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. It is the trigger for the Lenten observance and technically the first day of the Lent. 


In some Christian denomination, Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance – a day of contemplating one's transgressions. Some continue fasting throughout Lent, as was the Church's traditional requirement, concluding only after the celebration of the Easter Vigil (before Easter Sunday service).


Today, it is mostly observed by the Roman Catholics, as well as Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations.


Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or the dictum "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."



What is the significance of the ashes on Ash Wednesday?

It was the practice in Rome for penitents to begin their period of public penance on the first day of Lent. They were sprinkled with ashes, dressed in sackcloth, and obliged to remain apart until they were reconciled with the Christian community on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter).


Some have wondered where the ‘ashes’ comes from, that is, the ashes that is administered on Ash Wednesday. The ashes used are made from burning the palm crosses blessed in the previous year's Palm Sunday service when Christians carry palms to recognise the Gospels' references to Jesus' path covered in palm fronds on the day he entered Jerusalem.





On Ash Wednesday, Christians will have this burnt palm crosses in form of ashes applied to their foreheads in the shape of a cross which symbolises penance, mourning and mortality — a public expression of their faith and human mortality. The practice of marking foreheads with ashes in the shape of a cross is one of Christianity's most visible rituals.



“Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”


A good reminder of the life we are called to live .


“When we look our mortality in the face, the inevitability of our own death asks of us, ‘What are you going to do with the life you have?’ (Theologian Maggi Dawn).


So over the coming week, let us set our hearts and minds in readiness for this awesome period of sacrifice, love and redemption. 


May Almighty and Merciful God, strengthen us in body, mind and spirit for the period of Lent ahead. Amen. 

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144 Fencepiece Road





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