First Presbyterian Church Fort Dodge


Austin's Update 2-20-19

Posted by Austin Hill on

While it’s just about as late as possible this year, the season of Lent is right around the corner. Ash Wednesday is March 6 th . We’ll have our annual pancake supper in the Christian Life Center a little earlier this year. It will start at 5pm, because our Ash Wednesday service will be in the Sanctuary at 6pm.

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, where we journey with Jesus toward the cross, toward Jesus’ death. This season begins with Ash Wednesday because that day reminds us of our own frailty. Every one of us will die. No one knows the time they have on this earth.

This Ash Wednesday, I am especially reminded of this truth. Just yesterday (at the time of my writing) I heard the news of a seminary friend who passed away from complications with brain cancer. Roughly two weeks ago she went to the ER with her husband because of severe headaches, and now she is dead. She was just seven years old than Sara and me and she graduated from seminary the same year we did. She leaves behind a husband and three young children. Hundreds of pastors and church leaders from all over the country are reeling from Amy’s death.

While Ash Wednesday feels like a somber occasion, it’s always a meaningful time to me. There’s something liberating about facing our mortality. We are reminded to make this day count. Today could be our last day on this earth, so what are we doing of significance today?

This Lenten season, we will explore five ways we can grow closer to God. We will examine and practice methods to experience God in our everyday lives. Starting on Sunday, March 10 th , we’ll look at prayer, then Scripture, service, worship, and the Sacraments all as ways we can encounter the presence of God. And then on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we’ll explore how God meets us in our everyday lives.

Our hope for this Lenten season is not just to talk about different ways to encounter God, but to try these different practices. Our worship services will include a hands-on element. We embark on this journey together as a way making the most of each day we have.

Every morning, we wake up with a new chance to encounter the living God in our midst. So let’s make the most of our days together.

Austin D. Hill