Lent Begins February 22, 2023
Ash Wednesday services will be at both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church. You are invited to choose which one best suits your situation. Both services will offer Holy Communion and the Imposition of Ashes as we begin our Lenten Season.
See the end of this article for more about the ashes of Ash Wednesday.
The Ash Wednesday Services this year are as follows:
Worship at MLLC at 7:30 p.m.
Worship at Waldeck Lutheran Church at 5:45 p.m.
Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church is in a shared ministry with MLLC. The Church is located at 6915 Waldeck Church Lane, Ledbetter, TX 78946 – this is about 6.5 miles south of Ledbetter at the corner of FM 2145 and FM 1291. Click here for a map for the church in Waldeck.
The Exhortation on Ash Wednesday invites us into the season of Lent. Here is that Exhortation as presented in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) – the book used at Martin Luther Lutheran Church:
Friends in Christ, today with the whole church we enter the time of remembering Jesus’ passover from death to life, and our life in Christ is renewed.
We begin this holy season by acknowledging our need for repentance and for God’s mercy. We are created to experience joy in communion with God, to love one another, and to live in harmony with creation. But our sinful rebellion separates us from God, our neighbors, and creation, so that we do not enjoy the life our creator intended.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to a discipline that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and neighbor. I invite you, therefore, to the discipline of Lent—
self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love—strengthened by the gifts of word and sacrament.
Let us continue our journey through these forty days to the great Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
We are very blessed by the opportunity to work side by side with the people of Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church. Together we are glorifying God, loving our neighbors and loving one another.
From the Introduction to our Ash Wednesday Services
What is Ash Wednesday?
On Ash Wednesday, the community of faith comes face to face with two realities. First, we confront our own mortality. None of us lives in this life forever. Secondly, all of us are sinners and need to confess our sin to God. These two themes (death and sin) are brought together in light of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ. As the Apostle John says in 1 John 1:9b, “…(God) who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The confession of sin on Sundays reminds us, “In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins.” The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) confession also included, “To those who believe in Jesus Christ he gives the power to become the children of God and bestows on them the Holy Spirit.”
What are the ashes for?
The “ashes” of Ash Wednesday are rooted in the ancient worship of both the Jewish and Christian communities. They are a sign of mortality and penance. Even though we have used the imposition of ashes in our Ash Wednesday worship for many years, they still may seem new or uncomfortable to some of us. What we should remember about the ashes is they are a visible sign of our cleansing and rebirth, both a recognition of our daily dependence on God for life and a promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Should I receive the ashes?
The ashes are not compulsory by any means. You may choose, if you wish, to remain in your seat during the imposition of ashes. But remember that they are a powerful and visible way to participate in the call to repentance and reconciliation. If you choose to participate, come forward at the appropriate time in the liturgy with others desiring the ashes. The pastor will dip his thumb in the ashes and trace the sign of the cross on your forehead. Afterwards, return to your seat and the liturgy will continue.
Ash Wednesday Questions adapted from the work of Pastor Thomas Weitzel. He served at a neighboring church to Pastor David Tinker when they were both serving congregations in western Indiana.