Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent
“I am but dust and ashes.” – Genesis 18:27
All are welcome to receive ashes in a traditional start to the season of Lent at PEACE Lutheran Church.
Don’t have time to get to church? Ashes to Go is our way of bringing Jesus to you — where you are, on your already-packed schedule! From 7-9am, and again from 12-2pm, come to PEACE Lutheran Church and get a drive-thru blessing! Come into the parking lot and drive around the building to the portico on the west side, where Pastor Eileen Smith Le Van will be waiting to mark your forehead with ashes, give you God’s blessing, and lift up your concerns in prayer.
Our traditional Ash Wednesday worship services will start at 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14. During the service, Pastor Eileen Smith Le Van will use ashes to make the sign of the cross on the forehead of all who wish to receive it.
Ashes are an ancient symbol of grief and repentance. Lent – the 40 days before Easter – is traditionally a time when Christians consider the ways we have fallen short of God’s commands to love God and others. At PEACE, we also find comfort and hope in God’s many promises that He will always love His people, despite our faults and flaws.
Preparation for Easter
“The way to please you is to feel sorrow deep in our hearts. This is the kind of sacrifice you won’t refuse.” – Psalm 51:17, CEV
Ash Wednesday and Lent are ways we prepare spiritually for the most important event in our faith story: the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, observed on Good Friday and Easter. In Jesus – the manifestation of God on Earth, in fully human form – God experiences and understands deeply our weaknesses, our nobility and our yearning for something more.
During Lent, we come more deeply to understand Jesus’ suffering on our behalf and his God-glory as we wrestle with our own limitations – and the amazing truth of God’s enduring love for us.
Our ashes at PEACE, by the way, are made by burning last year’s palm fronds used in our Palm Sunday processions. This is another old tradition that reminds us of the cycle of seasons in our spiritual growth and the evolving nature of our relationship with our Creator and Lord.
Free Soup Suppers & Lenten Services
During Lent at PEACE Lutheran Church, we celebrate God’s enduring promise of love for us with events that live out God’s love in community. Our free Soup Suppers are humble gatherings around a simple meal of home-made soup and bread – nourishing for body, heart and soul!
Soup Suppers start at 6:15 p.m. every Thursday during Lent, starting Feb. 22. Each one is followed by a short but moving evening prayer service at 7 p.m. Soup suppers and prayer services will continue through March 29, Maundy Thursday (the Thursday of Holy Week, the week before Easter).
If you would like to bring a pot of soup to share, contact the church office at www.PeaceLutheranGV.org or (530) 273-9631. Supper is in the Fellowship Center, and prayer service is in the Sanctuary.
Coming Up: Holy Week
The 40 days of Lent culminate in Holy Week. Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, this year on April 9, and builds to Easter on April 16. To make the link symbolically between Ash Wednesday and Holy Week, the ashes we use during our Ash Wednesday service this year come from palm branches saved from last year’s Palm Sunday procession.