Shepherd of Sierra Lutheran invites residents to Ash Wednesday service |

Shepherd of Sierra Lutheran invites residents to Ash Wednesday service

by E.D. Thyr

This evening at 7 p.m., members and friends of Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church will gather in the chapel section of the new youth/education building for the first-ever Ash Wednesday service to be conducted there.

The service will feature visual aids for the children and is being held at an early hour so families with youngsters can attend and still get to bed at a proper time on a school night.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 days before Easter, historically designated as Lent. During this period of time, Christians in some denominations were required to avoid eating meat and to “give up” certain things which they held dear in order to focus on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

Christians were reminded of the fact that in His suffering and death, Jesus was taking upon himself the sins of all people and that because of that sacrifice, humans are freed from the penalty of their sins. Originally observed for a week, tradition eventually lengthened Lent (which means spring) to the 40 days during which it is observed today.

These days we hear more about Shrove Tuesday than we do about Ash Wednesday. In many circles, it is “party time,” the last moment to “eat, drink and be merry” before the more solemn and somber time of Lent begins. Both in New Orleans and in Rio de Janeiro, the days before Lent are identified as Mardi Gras. Television news makes it clear that this too reflects the pre-Lent motif of “one last party” before we get serious about lent.

The community is invited to the Ash Wednesday observance at SOS. The theme for the worship service is simple, Whose Fault Is it?”

For more information or for directions to Shepherd of the Sierra, call 267-3680.

E.D. Thyr is pastor of Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church.