Welcome to Mt. Olive's Online Newsletter! This site serves to herald the activities and day-to-day happenings at Mt. Olive, as well as provide resources for continued learning and community awareness. Links on the right point to various groups that operate at Mt. Olive as well as points of interest and additional resources. The space below contains articles and information from the newsletter. A up-to-date church calendar is always at the bottom of the page. Thanks for visiting and please let us know what you think!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

From the Vicar

The word “Lent” has an obscure origin, going back to the Middle English lente or the Germanic lenzin both meaning springtime. Lent is probably a corruption of similar terms in ancient Anglo, Saxon, and Germanic languages, all of which referred to spring, new life, and hope. Although it is generally considered to be a time of mourning and repentance, it is also designated as a time of new life and hope because by means of the death of Christ, we receive new life. Lent is a period of fasting and repentance.

Lent offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life rooted in our baptism. In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more deeply, to purify ourselves by fasting, experience sorrow for what we've done and failed to do and to be generous to those in need.

During Lent, Christians are to contemplate their sinfulness, repent, ask God’s forgiveness, and realize the infinite love and mercy of God. It is to be a time of quiet contemplation, but not a time of despair, since it culminates in the commemoration of the resurrection.[Source]

It is very fitting that Lent begin during the bleakness of winter. It reminds of the human condition, our frailty, our total dependence upon God, and our sinful nature. But just like the cold winter we look to the coming spring and the blessings promised us in the resurrection.

Some people often quip a 'very miserable Lent to you all' since most associate Lent with the 40 days of fasting prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church and the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness that Jesus endured in preparation of His ministry. For many Lent is miserable because we deny ourselves that which we crave; chocolate, alcohol, or day-time television. Rather than having a miserable Lent, have a blessed Lent.

More times than not I'd like to see people take something on rather than give something up. Spend more time in God's Word each day. Try to read through the New Testament over the next 40 days. Attend church and Bible study more faithfully. Fasting through Lent does not have to mean shedding an old habit, but can also mean enriching your meditation by taking on some new ones.

Let us never forget, however, that whatever we sacrifice; our time or our treasures, means nothing in comparison to the sacrifice that Jesus has already made. A very blessed Lent to you all!

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