POINT PLEASANT — The Season of Lent is under way as is the annual Lenten Luncheon Series hosted by the Mason County Ministerial Association.
Each week, a different church provides the meal and message, though all luncheons are held at Trinity UM Church in Point Pleasant. Lunch is served every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. through the season of Lent. Lunch is free, though donations are appreciated and used for the ongoing ministries of the ministerial association. Meals consist of soup, sandwiches, cookies and drinks.
Speaking of meals, a lot of people give up certain foods when deciding to give up something for Lent. Pastor Matt Dotson of Good Shepherd UM Church, whose members served the meal this week, said Lent is about more than giving something up. Dotson reflected back on a Bible Study discussion about Lent which took the angle of the season being about discovery and growth.
“It’s a time to reflect over our year,” Dotson explained, adding, when Easter Sunday arrives it is a new start, and new year, for everyone.
Dotson added, those 40 days of Lent are more then giving up something but discovering something, and asking yourself “What can I do better?”
The season of Lent lasts 40 days, not counting Sundays, and begins on Ash Wednesday, typically continuing up to Maundy Thursday or Easter Eve. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring” and the 40 days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry, according to the United Methodist Church.
The UMC also describes Lent as a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
Sundays in Lent are not counted in the 40 days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection, according to the UMC.
The weekly services are non-denominational and everyone is invited to attend.
Portions of this article provided by the UMC found at http://www.umc.org.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.