Checotah church to celebrate Ash Wednesday

Checotah church to celebrate Ash Wednesday

Checotah church to celebrate Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday begins the holy season of Lent, 40 days of reflection and fasting that culminate on Easter. I agree with those who say that Valentine should not be an annual celebration but a daily one and Christians who know their onions should concur too.

At the end of the movie "The Thirteenth Warrior" (not one for the kiddies, by the way), the (illiterate) dying hero states: "I die a pauper. If you go out for Valentine's dinner, you can just have salmon", he said.

This year, it coincides with Valentine's Day, the first time that has happened in many years. Do they have anything in common? This is the time when we show our love and appreciation for Jesus who suffered for us.

Love is a feeling that everyone experiences. Of course, we celibates don't have much investment in the 14th of February, so it's not a big deal for us. Its truth found through a martyr's death.

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- Almsgiving. Helping those in need, promoting justice and working together to build a world where the dignity of all people is upheld are integral parts of the Christian way of life - and are also an expression of our gratitude for all that God has given to us. So, even though we are living longer, we are not necessarily remaining committed to, and with, the same partner throughout our lives.

Lent's origin is contained within the very meaning of the word. The fast I ordinarily recommend is threefold: to drink mainly water throughout Lent, give up condiments on food (salt, pepper, sugar, butter, ketchup, salad dressing), and forsake candies and snacks between meals. "So Valentines Day this year serves as a wonderful bridge between the sacred and the secular". The Lenten discipline of immersing ourselves in prayer, fasting and good works allows us once again to focus our minds and heart on the foundation of our redemption. Now is the acceptable time, custom made for each of us as we support one another as fellow pilgrims, struggling on the path of conversion.

Some dioceses and archdioceses in the country have issued statements about not giving the dispensation, with those without statements issued by their bishops assumed to also keep the fasting and abstinence practices. It is all about love. Young men and women would formally choose each other then or at least send missives and greetings of affection. But that ol' cancer: no respecter of age or person, power or position is it. Prince or pauper, pope or private ... life-threatening misfortune can hit any of us at any time, whether it be by sickness, accident or some other calamity.

The historical Valentine was a priest of Rome in the late 3rd century when Claudius II, Emperor of Rome, introduced a persecution against Christians.

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Although his gruesome death seems to stand in contrast to springtime longings for pairings, Valentine died for the sake of bringing his love to fulfillment.

Basically, to give up some comfort in our lives as Jesus did. It is not simply a matter of sweets and flowers; it is a matter of what one will die for. We remember the execution of Jesus. After that, we get to the luminous light. He is the light of the world. That is why the Lord commands us to give alms; to look toward others' needs, not just our own; to love others in deeds and not just wish them well; and to take responsibility for others' welfare, for as often as we fail to do something for them, we fail to care for Christ (Matthew 25:45).

For 2018, the leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have collaborated to create a set of ecumenical Lenten devotions called Set Free By Truth.

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