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The 40-day season of Lent begins with the observance of Ash Wednesday (worship at 6:30 p.m.). As we prepare to review our Savior’s sufferings and death, we focus on why it was necessary. It was because of our sin: the sinful nature with which we were conceived and born, the sins we actively commit in thought, word, and deed, as well as the good works we have left undone. The liturgical color for Ash Wednesday is black, a color which calls to mind mourning, death, and dust. The wages of sin is death. From dust the first human was formed, and to dust we return because of sin. Some Christians even apply ashes to their body on this day as a solemn reminder of sin’s curse. Although the overall tone of Ash Wednesday is one of mourning and repentance, the Christian also approaches the season of Lent with confidence in Christ crucified, who took our punishment and made peace between us and God.
An instrumental duet will be playing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” during the offering. Enjoy a small snippet of the song and reflect on the text of the hymn, written by Isaac Watts, the “father of English hymnody”.
When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast Save in the death of Christ, my God. All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e’er such love and sorrow meet Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a tribute far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.