Lent 2020


of Judgment and Mercy

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. -Ezekiel 1:1


Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the forty-day period of repentance called Lent in which we prepare ourselves to celebrate the joyful Paschal feast of Easter. In our midweek services this year, we will be focusing our vision (apologies for the 2020 puns) on several passages from the prophet of Ezekiel. The book of Ezekiel is packed with visions, oracles, parables, narrative, poetry, and rich imagery. It’s also host to some of the weirdest, most graphic, and most comforting passages in the entire Bible. We will be unpacking these things in greater depth in Sunday Bible study, so be sure to join us for that as well. Throughout Ezekiel, Israel of old and the Church of today are confronted with visions of God’s strict judgment but we also see visions of God’s fatherly mercy. With clearer vision, we will see our Savior Jesus Christ in all of it. May the Lord bless us with eyes to see him more clearly throughout this Lent, this year, and our whole lives.

February 26 – Ash Wednesday, A Vision of Marked Foreheads

March 4 – A Vision of Grotesque Mercy

March 11 – A Vision of Absurd Faithfulness

March 18 – A Vision of Watchmen

March 25 – A Vision of Shepherds

April 1 – A Vision of New Vision

April 5 – Palm Sunday, A Vision of Decluttering

April 9 – Maundy Thursday, A Vision of Boiling Bone Broth

April 10 – Good Friday, A Vision of a River and a Tree

April 12 – Easter Sunday, A Vision of Resurrection

About Lent: The season of Lent is a 40-day period beginning on Ash Wednesday (March 6) and concluding on Holy Saturday (April 20). The 40 days exclude Sundays, which are seen as celebrations of the Resurrection of Christ. Throughout the season, and even on the Sundays within it, the prevailing theme is repentance. In church, we omit some of the more joyous elements of the service like the hymn of praise (“Glory to God in the Highest” or “This is the Feast”) and we refrain from the joyous exclamation, “Alleluia,” (meaning “Praise the Lord”).  The readings focus our attention on all that Jesus has accomplished for us, from defeating the tempter, to establishing a new covenant, to bringing us to repentance and forgiveness, and bringing us from death to life. It all culminates in Holy Week as we recount how Jesus worked our salvation in his death on the cross, and his Resurrection on Easter. The word “Lent” comes from an old English word for “Spring” and is seen as a time of spiritual growth for Christians. Traditional practices for the season include increased times of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.