The Lent and Easter Season

Today (March 2) marks the beginning of Lent—the Lenten season that spans the forty days before Easter. It begins on a Wednesday— “Ash Wednesday,” so called because of the traditional practice of placing ashes on the heads of worshipers. The ashes are symbolic of repentance and mourning for sin. Indeed, the entire Lenten season is traditionally devoted to prayer and repentance, in preparation for the Holy Week celebration (from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday [Easter]).

In commemoration of this time of year—and especially in light of the grave and tragic (and potentially catastrophic) events occurring this very moment in parts of the world—I have decided to shift my focus on this site. I am temporarily suspending my current series of notes on the Song of Songs (currently up through 2:7), until after Easter. Attention will instead be given to my exegetical Study Series on “The Old Testament and the Gospel Tradition” (leading into studies on the influence of the Old Testament in the Passion narratives), as well as other regular features on this site. I am also planning to introduce a periodic series on the Old Testament/Israelite Festivals (beginning with Passover), and will be posting some special entries in the “Monday Notes on Prayer” section.

Prayer would seem to be of the utmost importance for believers all around the world this Lenten season. May our prayers particularly be with those suffering, and let us also together make fervent request for the Sovereignty of our God to become manifest here on earth (“May your Kingdom come, may your will be done…” as the Lord’s Prayer instructs us to pray). As Paul states most powerfully, the Kingdom of God is characterized fundamentally by “righteousness [= justice], peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Let our prayers be especially for justice and peace, but also that God’s people (believers) everywhere might experience joy this Easter season, even if the face of such perilous times. Remember that the Spirit is with us—all of us who are believers in Christ.

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