We have officially begun the forty days of the season of Lent. That number forty is significant for many reasons. It rained for forty days and nights when Noah, his family, and all the living creatures where on the ark. After they were freed from slavery, the Israelites wandered around in the desert for forty years before they reached the Promised Land. After Jesus was baptized, he was immediately whisked away by the Holy Spirit and spent 40 days in the wilderness with no food or water as he prepared for his ministry. If you think about it, those forty days were like a preparation period before a big event. It gave it's participants time to think before they embarked on a new journey. We too have that invitation during the next forty days. Time to think... time to reflect... time to prepare. I will leave you with the words to the hymn we sang last night at our Ash Wednesday service:

The glory of these forty days
we celebrate with songs of praise;
for Christ, through whom all things were made,
himself has fasted and has prayed.

Then grant, O God, that we may, too,
return in fast and prayer to you.
Our spirits strengthen with your grace,
and give us joy to see your face.

See you Sunday!