Tomorrow, February 17, 2021, is the start of the season of Lent for non-Orthodox Christians. However, according to research, 76% of Americans do not observe Lent. However, 61% of Catholics, 28% of Evangelicals, and 20% of Protestants do.
Lent is traditional started with the giving the mark of the cross in ashes on ones forehead, tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. This starts a six-week season to prepare oneself for Easter Sunday. Many of these give up something during the period, such as food or activities. Food tops the list of give-ups.
The last year has been extremely difficult for many Christians, and it is difficult to imagine extending this period of suffering for another six-weeks. However, I suggest it is a great time to focus on the value of life. The overall direction of Lent is to reimagine the last days of Jesus, and prepare one’s heart to celebrate the joy of the salvation he brings to all. As churches begin to cautiously open to offer ashes, and meet in smaller capacities, this is also a time to celebrate that things are beginning to improve.
However, it’s also wise to keep in mind that the golden rule should be our guide. I can’t imagine any Christian who would knowingly treat their neighbor less than theirself.
An internet search using the terms “Ash Wednesday Services Anchorage” will reveal a large number of congregations offering in-person or in-car ashes.
Lenten blessings to my readers.