Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our 40-day Lenten journey during which we prepare for Easter.
Lenten Journey in Worship: On this day and each Wednesday thereafter through April 5 Trinity will have devotional services at 12:10pm and 7:00pm. These services will be informal with an emphasis on reading Scripture together and sharing hearts and thoughts. The theme for these services: Invocabit, Reminiscere, Laetare, Oculi, Judica come from the Middle Ages. You will find them totally timely for this century as well. Be curious – and amazed at the Grace of God which comes from these ancient Latin Lenten usages! All are welcome! See you there.
Lenten Journey Individually: This season of Lent is set aside for prayer, reflection, sacrificial giving, works of love and acknowledging our need for repentance and for God’s mercy. We are created to experience joy — in communion with God, to love one another, and to live in harmony with creation. But our sin separates us from God, our neighbors, and creation, so that we do not enjoy the life our creator intended. When we confess that sin, tell the truth of our failures, we’re set free of that sin and are able to live the life God intended for us.
LCMS FL-GA District President, Greg Walton shared in his devotion this month: “Over the next month and a half we will be making that Lenten journey once again. It certainly is a time to be reflective and to live out a life of repentance. It’s also a time to not just focus on self, but to do those things that share the light and love of Jesus with the world. Each year at Lent for me it is not so much about what I give up but rather what I take up for the sake of Jesus. The season of Lent isn’t so much about our sacrifice as it is about the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us on the cross which inspires a sacrificial attitude in His people. …Our calling is to connect people to Jesus… to reach people with the true hope that comes by faith in Him!”
Your Lenten Commitment? So, during this season of Lent, let’s be intentional about confession and repentance and making connections with our creator, our neighbors and creation! The images below make some great suggestions and serve as reminders about taking up something instead of, or in addition to, giving something up. Let’s focus on the connection and relationship building needed to win hearts for Jesus and bring people one step closer to Jesus, to their faith, to spiritual growth or deeper maturity. (Images created by Elizabeth Gundlach Alexander)
Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday Activities
Yesterday on campus, some of Trinity’s K-8 students participated in Shrove Tuesday activities. Dr. Brockberg refereed as students flipped pancakes while running relays and Mrs. Malenke was able to celebrate by serving pancakes with syrup during 5th grade religion class.
This morning in school Chapel for VPK through 8th grade Pastor Zehnder and Senior Elder Mike Kunze are seen here helping with the imposition of ashes for those students who wanted to participate. The three-year-old classes wanted to participate as well, so Mrs. Malenke went from classroom to classroom and shared ashes with all those students as well. Lessons, singing and scripture readings continued through the 12:10pm and 7:00pm worship services at Trinity Downtown.
In addition to on-campus activities and worship, Mrs. Green’s first grade class took a field trip and reached out into the community to connect with some very special new friends at the Orlando Lutheran Towers. These precious first graders read to their new friends and created a simple craft with them as well. A few of the students even helped with putting ashes on some of the residents foreheads for Ash Wednesday. Nurturing these special relationships is a big deal to the children in Mrs. Green’s class. They want to be able to bring joy to others and to share Jesus’ love – so they plan to visit again soon in April or May.
Today was an amazing first day in this Lenten journey. What will you take up during this season — a new commitment to prayer, a certain amount of time reading the Bible each day, a promise to connect and encourage, to explore creation and share the light and love of Jesus with others? The options are unlimited! Let us know how it goes at TLC@Trinitydowntown.com.