Dearly beloved Bethany Family Members,
We have entered into yet another Lenten Season. Lent represents the 40 days. Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing to begin His ministry and resisting Satan’s temptation and also the Passion Week which is the journey towards the cross and the victory over death.
Traditionally Lent was set aside to focus on our relationship with God, examine ourselves and repent. Lamentation 3:40 says" Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD."
We all 'give up' something for Lent. Few popular options are to stop eating non- vegetarian foods, stop eating chocolate or sign off from facebook and other social networking site for fifty days. Offering a sacrifice that is difficult or uncomfortable is intended to serve as a reminder of the suffering Jesus endured for our salvation. All these are well and good but we also need to develop a higher standard with regard to God's standards.
I am happy to journey with you all, this Lenten Season. We are meditating Cross of Jesus on this Lent time. For all the Eastern churches the service of reconciliation or Shubkono stands at the 'threshold of Great Lent’. The service marks the actual doorway into Lent. Mark 10:45 says, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. “Another important service related to reconciliation takes place in every Maundy Thursday communion service is on 'The Kiss of Peace’. The Kiss of Peace is important in the Holy Communion service, since we are getting ready to communicate with God through His Body and in doing so, we cannot be, divided in ourselves and in with each other. “Forgiveness means letting go of the past, but reconciliation is about committing to a future. It means returning to some degree of friendliness, and for that to happen, trust has to be re-established. "Otherwise," Forgiveness is letting go of the past but reconciliation is about restoring the relationship in the future. “The short way to have peace of mind is "Forgive what you cannot Forget and Forget what you cannot Forgive. “And this became the motto of this year Lenten Season.
Rev.Jacob Thomas Achen.