February 16, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction



Monte W. Holland


NOTICE: CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS has moved to Carolyn’s Online Magazine. I invite you to visit and follow the new site.

Rethink Church Lenten Photos: Week 1

Ash Wednesday: Sackcloth and Ashes


View photo of Wesley United Methodist Church in Connellsville, PA: 

     Lent Begins Tomorrow

Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter). The word “Lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.”

The Lenten season is a time to prepare for celebrating Easter. Historically, Lent began as a period for fasting and preparation for baptism by converts. It then became a time for penance by all Christians. Because Sundays are always “little Easters,” the penitential spirit of Lent should be tempered with the joyful expectation of the Resurrection.

Ash Wednesday is accompanied by special worship services that begin this period of fasting and penance, including the imposition of ashes in many Christian churches.

Beginning tomorrow and continuing through Lent, we will post a daily Lenten devotional (not including Sundays which are not part of Lent), “Basic Biblical Teachings for the Godly, Moral Life,” which will challenge us to encounter (again) basic Judeo-Christian principles for living, and to examine how well we reflect them in our living. Take a few minutes each day to join us on this journey through Lent.

For weeks now millions of people have responded to help disaster victims in Haiti. New crises bring heightened awareness of the value and the needs of the most impoverished of God’s Creation. God gives us the ability to step outside our own problems and respond. We enter the Lenten period as a time for “refueling” by drawing closer to God to learn more about who we are and what God expects of us as we relate to His Creation—human, animal, and all the rest.

   For some time, my husband, Monte, has been concerned about today’s young generation and the ethical behavior which they are exposed to in today’s society. He sees the inconsistencies in what they experience in society and what is taught by Biblical Scripture, where lessons on “The Godly, Moral Life,” are presented.
As a step in counteracting society’s UnGodly, Immoral life lessons, he developed (and I edited) a series of forty lessons, one for each day in Lent, beginning tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.

He has written the introduction printed below.     Carolyn Holland

     Introduction- In this day and age, as it was in years past, many people live without an adequate knowledge of basic Godly and moral principles as taught in the Bible. Today, more than ever, individuals in public and private life are pushing the bounds of their life choices beyond traditional moral standards. On the other hand, we are not talking about going back to the “good old days.” Frankly, they may not have been all that good.
The first assumption is this: many persons push moral bounds because they haven’t learned anything different.
A second assumption is: Biblical teachings about the Godly and moral life are solid standards to live by, and will guide us toward the highest quality of living that we can reach. Some detractors say that such teachings keep us from “having fun.” Not so! To the contrary, these teachings lead us to living in a way that is most fulfilling and leads to real joy and “fun,” in the best sense.
This study is not about doctrine or what one believes about details of the nature and worship of God. It is based on the assumption that there are standards to live by that have stood the test of time. It happens that one of the best sources is selected texts from the Holy Bible. I (we) will use these to put together 40 readings, one for each day in Lent, that are my (our) attempt to explore the “Godly, moral life.” I (we) hope you will journey through Lent with me (us.)

Move on to A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: 01 by clicking on to: A Daily Online Lenton Study Guide: 01


Ashes to Ashes: A Devotion for Ash Wednesday

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