February 17, 2021
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Special Lesson: Ash Wednesday
1.What is Ash Wednesday? What's the deal with ashes?
Ash Wednesday is about 40 days before Easter. It is the first day of Lent. The day is named for the practice of putting ashes on our forehead in the shape of a cross.
Using ashes as a sign of repentance or being sorry for our sins is an ancient practice, mentioned in several places in the Bible. The Jewish people wore ashes and itchy sackcloth to show that they were sorry for their wrong doing and repent. The early Christians adopted the use of ashes this as an outward mark of penitence.
Ashes are symbolic of our human existence:
 Ashes remind us of God's condemnation of sin.
 Ashes suggest cleansing and renewal. They were used anciently in the absence of
soap. Even on Ash Wednesday, this most penitential day, we receive ashes in the
form of the cross, the same symbol placed on our bodies with water in our baptism. This reminds us of Jesus dying for us on the cross.
 Ashes remind us of the shortness of human life, for when we die "We commit this body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust”.
 Ashes are a symbol of our need to repent, confess our sins, and return to God.
3.Why do we have Lent?
You have learned by now that Lent is a time to turn back to God. We have been learning about God's chosen people in the Old Testament. In just about every story we have talked about we have seen how people continuously turn away from God. They continue to sin. They keep making mistakes. But every time God still shows God's love for us. God keeps welcoming people back. Over the years we have learned that Jesus was sent to save us after God had tried so many other ways reach us. In the end we know that Jesus had to die on the cross for our salvation. Even still people continue to turn away from God. Lent is a time to think about that for ourselves. Lent is a time to do selfless things to show that we are trying and learning to come back to God.
Watch this Skit Guys video. Think about all that God has given us and how we respond to God.
Lent is a journey to Easter
Click on the picture for a Road to Easter word search.
2.What is Lent?
Lent is a time of repentance or thinking about when we make the choice to sin or to turn away from God and saying we're sorry for that. It is about 40 days right before Easter. The number 40 is significant in the bible: The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years before getting to the Promised Land. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert.
Click on the picture below to learn more about the season of Lent
4- Family Discussion
Do we have to "give up" something" for Lent?
Some people give up chocolate or another favorite food. Others give up Facebook or videogames. But what is the point of giving up anything?
First you have to ask yourself why am I giving this up? Am I doing this because I want everyone to see how much I am giving up? Am I going to spend the 6 weeks of Lent complaining that I can't have whatever I gave up? Will I then turn around and binge on my favorite food or computer games all of Easter Sunday? Does God really care how much chocolate I eat or how many hours I am on Facebook?
Jesus surely had something to say to the religious leaders in His time. He called them out on their supposed good works. They were really big into showing off their "goodness." Whenever they gave to the poor or said special prayers in the temple or sacrificed, they made sure EVERYONE knew about it. They weren't doing these things for God. They were doing them to make themselves look better than everyone else. And that is why Jesus told them they were hypocrites.
So maybe instead of just giving something up I should do something honestly good. Perhaps I could use the money I didn't spend on chocolate and give it to a charity. Perhaps I could use the time not playing videogames to play a game with my family? Perhaps I need to spend time working on getting closer to God.
This is a personal decision and only you can decide. Take some time and discuss with your family. Will you give something up? Why?
A Reminder: Why Lent?
You can make this into a placemat or just hang it on your refrigerator to remind you of the meaning of Lent. (Ignore pg 1. Print pg 2.)
Click here to practice the ABCs of the OT