Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
From the Pastor
We are in the season of Lent (the forty days before Easter, not counting Sundays), a time when most Christian traditions practice a discipline of meditation regarding life and the purpose for our life. We reflect on how our day-to-day existence is changed by our knowledge of God’s grace in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The season starts on Ash Wednesday when a cross of ash is imposed on the foreheads of believers. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) is spoken as a reminder that death, in fact, is part of life and eternal death is the result of sinful living. Because Christ saves us, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15) is also spoken to the believers to remind them that faith in Jesus leads to eternal life.
Many today believe Ash Wednesday and Lent are traditions that belong only to certain Christian traditions yet one cannot deny the validity of what is said in Genesis 3:19 and Mark 1:15. The fact that sin leads to death but that Christ saves us are basic beliefs of Christianity. Therefore, the practice of Ash Wednesday is, in actuality, something which we ought to carry through every day of our lives. We must constantly remember that truly BECAUSE CHRIST FREES US FROM SIN, HE ALSO FREES US FROM DEATH..