The month of March has snuck up on us when we were not looking. Suddenly, now it is here.
This year, Easter is late. This pushes everything back. The First Sunday in March, March 2, we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord. The following Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent. The next Sunday, is the First Sunday in Lent, when we remember the Temptations of Christ in the wilderness. These Feasts and Festivals of the Church year are like stars and planets that suddenly line up to point to a huge cosmic event. These Church Holidays all line up to point to the biggest cosmic event in history and all of eternity – the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The First Sunday in March, we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord. Jesus had taken Peter, James and John up on a holy mountain. As they were before Jesus, suddenly, Jesus was Transfigured, appearing in a glorified state with the prophet Elijah on one side, and Moses on the other side. The Prophet Elijah represented all the Old Testament Prophets. Moses represented the Pentetuch, the First 5 books of the Old Testament, written by him under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. On Easter Sunday, after His resurrection, as Jesus was walking with Emmaus Disciples, “…Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27)
Ash Wednesday begins Lent on Wednesday, March 5. The blackness of the ashes, remind Christians of the depravity and darkness of their sin, their sinful nature, Satan, and death. Our only hope is in Jesus. Lent begins our six week journey with Jesus to the Cross and empty tomb. As we consider the blackness and darkness of our sins, we then look to Jesus, the light of the world, who conquered, overcame, and defeated sin, Satan, and death at the Cross. In His descent into Hell on the Third Day, Jesus proclaimed His victory to Satan and all the demons, that He had won, and that they had lost for all of eternity.
Lent is a Penitential time of the Church Year. It is a special time to focus upon ourselves and Christ. A special time to reflect upon our awesome God who teaches us that we have to first die in Christ, to be resurrected in Christ, and receive new life in Christ. This is the opposite way of the fallen and broken world in which we live. But, it is the way of our Lord. This is the way of all that lives and remains alive. The alternative is only death.
The First Sunday in Lent, March 8, when we remember the Temptations of Christ in the Wilderness. It is Jesus who gives to us what we need, so that we do not fall into every temptation the Old Evil Foe throws in our path. It is Jesus who can help us in our time of need, because it is Jesus who has already crushed the head of the Old Evil Foe even for all of eternity.
So, This March is a special one; a special time for you to grow closer to God. It only happens once this year. May the Lord enable you to make the most of it.
Have a great March Pastor Brad Rick