The Season of Lent
What is Lent?
For centuries Christians have observed the season of Lent; it is one of the earliest seasons observed by the Church. Lent is the 40-day period that begins with Ash Wednesday and serves as a way for us to make spiritual pilgrimage towards and through Good Friday so that, when we finally reach Easter Sunday, our celebration can be rich and heartfelt, and full of joy!
We observe Lent for 40 days, and 40 is not an arbitrary number: Lent is connected to the 40-year period the Israelites spent in the wilderness before entering the promised land, and the 40 days Jesus spent praying and fasting in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry of proclaiming the nearness of the Kingdom of God.
Both of those Biblical references represent seasons of spiritual preparation.
Lent is a season for rethinking how we live and for letting some things go or maybe even developing some new holy habits. It is a season for self-examination and penitence, for restoring right relationships with God and others, and for taking time to fast and pray like Jesus did.
We invite you to join us as we follow Jesus through this unique and significant season.
A few years ago the artist, Scott Erickson, aka Scott the Painter, created these stations as a cross-section of elements, ideas, and objects from Jesus’ journey to the cross, rendered in deceptively simple images.
We want you to have the opportunity to walk this path beginning at the highest point of our room around and down to the lowest, so we invite you to come during our office hours, or maybe come early for a service or stay a bit after. Maybe come a few times during the season… whatever you want!
The images also have a QR code on them that you can scan to bring up verses and reflections to help guide you. But in whatever way works best for you – come and reflect on the images, see what the Spirit may stir in you as you consider them.
The Stations of the Cross began as a remembrance that pilgrims had when they were retracing Jesus’ finals steps in Jerusalem up to the hill where He was crucified. Wanting to share that practice and experience with people who couldn’t make the trip to Jerusalem, they created local stations of meditation that became in itself a tradition. You can find this tradition on the inside of many churches still today.
This journey to the cross is not only a meditation of Jesus accomplishing what He came to do – the redemption of humanity through His own willful sacrifice – but it’s also a contemplation of Jesus silently participating in some of the worst aspects of being human. We see Him being tempted to give up. Being betrayed by a friend. Being convicted in an unjust political system. Physical pain. Mockery. Public humiliation. Broken family relationships. And one of our greatest fears… having to die. These are all aspects of human life that He was not insulated from. In fact on the cross He quotes King David saying “My God My God, Why have you forsaken me?”… as if to say ”Why is it like this?” He was one who was not separate from our own suffering.
Many of us feel the weight of anxiety and fear as we journey through the current world. We are told many narratives of how it is and what is to come. During this season of Lent, we as a community look to the life and teachings of Jesus. We think that One who was in the midst of such political and empirical turmoil, who spoke the words of “Be not afraid”… and “Come to me all you are weary and carrying a heavy load, for I will give you rest”… is someone who can illuminate our desperate viewpoint.
These stations are a cross-section of elements, ideas, and objects from Jesus’ journey to the cross. As you work through these stations, may you see the that we are not troubled guests in this world… that we are not forsaken… and that the good news of this season was expressed best by Jesus when He said…
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The Last Seven Words
By Franz Joseph Haydn
We want to invite you to a unique multi-media concert called “The Seven Last Words”. It is a meditation around the seven statements Jesus made from the cross with music by Haydn played by a String Quartet and short spoken word selections written by Marianne Jones.
It is a free concert, no charge – just come and contemplate. It will be a beautiful and contemplative evening that will lead us beautifully into the destination of all our preparation – the remembrance of Christ’s crucifixion at Good Friday, and the celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 4th | 7:30PM
WHERE: Redwood Park Church
Friday, April 7 | 7PM
We invite you to join us onsite or online as we journey to the cross with Jesus through song, prayer, reflection, and communion.
And if you have a rock from Ash Wednesday, please bring it to lay at the cross. If you don’t have a rock, one will be provided for you as you enter the service.
Friday, April 9 | 9:30AM & 11:30AM
We invite you to join us onsite or online (Livestream at 11:30am) as we celebrate new life and the victory of the risen Jesus.