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' Perhaps they see the Cross and ask, 'Lord, what can I do to stop doing this to You? ' Many times in the Gospels, Jesus called on people to repent, to turn away from doing evil. One of the things we learn in Lent is how inescapable our sin is, how far we are from being complete, how fell is the nature of our divide from God. The Scriptures tell us the key parts of what we need to know, and the community of other believers (also led by the Spirit) show us what they know. Above all else, Lent is the season for the experience of giving your life over -- in each moment, bodily, deliberately -- to Christ and to what the Spirit is showing you.So the first impulse of love is to try to do things that Jesus would want of you. When we struggle like mad to give some tiny aspect of our lives over to God, we discover how maddeningly out of reach a whole life of godliness is. Christ gives us His body and His blood (Holy Communion), His presence among us and with us and in us. God wants you to surrender yourself, and let the Spirit work in you.A short burst, such as the forty days of Lent, can go a long way. In Lent, it's traditional to It may at times be about forensic guilt (as in TV's CSI or Law and Order, the 'I did it' kind of guilt), but it's not about the psychological kind of guilt (where God is pictured like a nagging mother, saying just the right word to make you feel sorry for yourself).

At the start of the Ash Wednesday service, the believers are asked to come forward to the altar.

The minister dips his/her thumb into a small tin of ashes (burnt from last year's Palm Sunday palms, with a drop of olive oil), and with it marks onto each person's forehead the sign of the cross, saying the words "" (from Ecclesiastes ).

A season for taking stock of the discipline one needs to be a disciple of Christ.

Lent is a time when many people turn their gaze toward Good Friday and ask themselves, 'How dare I force someone who loves me this much to go through something this awful? Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we love God better, we can love our species, our planet, and ourselves better.

It was done with the whole church community as they, too, relived it, and fasted together.

The end of the training period was Holy Week, and Easter would be the day that the new believers would be baptized into the Church.

(Nine months -- shoppers were not the first to count the days till Christmas!

) Lenten devotionals from Spirithome.com, also in Most of what is done and learned in Lent is true for the rest of the year, too, but with a different feel.

The tone of Lenten worship and church life changes, starting with the worship services of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), all the way to Palm Sunday, and then again to Easter.

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