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Welcome to the Howarth United Methodist Church website!

 

 

  THE LENTEN SEASON

  

Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Ash Wednesday! Happy Lent!

 

How prophetic that the beginning of the Lenten Season this year falls on Valentine’s Day!

One legend says that St. Valentine, a third century priest, secretly married soldiers to their sweethearts though it had been banned by the Emperor Claudius II.  Claudius felt that marriage made the men bad soldiers. When the emperor learned of the deception he punished Valentine by having him thrown  in jail.  There he fell in love with the jailers daughter and married her. On the day of his execution he sent his wife a final letter signed “from your Valentine”.

 

We generally view the Lenten season as a time of personal sacrifice and deep reflection. It is symbolic of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness. He suffered through hunger and thirst, and increasing temptations from Satan. But none of these experiences could dampen the love and compassion that he had for God’s people. He walked out of his wilderness experience to begin his ministry of preaching the Gospel, healing the sick and afflicted, comforting and uplifting the marginalized, and pointing out the injustices of the prevailing social system that continued to enslave the people in hopelessness.

 

This 2018 Lenten season is an opportunity to consider our sacrifice in terms of the acts of love that we can perform during these forty days. There are many agencies that can use our hands to feed, to clothe and to comfort. We can use our voices to advocate for those on the margins of our society: the homeless, women and children caught in a cycle of abuse, those trying to break the web of addiction, and the elderly, many of whom are shut-in and lonely. There are those to who put their lives on the line each day for our health and safety: the first responders, those in the military, those who volunteer with our youth, those who safeguard our health. They deserve our appreciation and our daily prayers.

 

How might you perform random acts of love over the next forty days? Where and in whom will you see God’s love this Lenten season?

 

 Peace and Blessings!

 Pastor Carolyn

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