Trumpets, Tears, and Ashes in Lent

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent.  During this season of forty days, the church of Jesus Christ reflects on Jesus’ suffering and death for our sins and on our need to repent from our sins through the power of our crucified and risen Redeemer.  Usually during the Lenten season, we reflect on the events towards the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry as Jesus focused on and traveled to Jerusalem for a final time along with the events of Jesus’ Passion Week.  As we reflect on Jesus’ suffering for our sins and how we are called to turn away from sin and toward the God who has redeemed us, it can be helpful to reflect on a less typical Scripture to help us reflect on the meaning of Lent for our lives today.

Nicholas Wolterstorff says that Christian worship, like the Old Testament psalter, should include trumpets, tears, and ashes – that is, praise, lament, and repentance.  All too often, however, tears and ashes are absent from Christian worship.

The book of Habakkuk in the Bible is a prophecy that includes trumpets, tears, and ashes.  Many of us are unaware of Habakkuk’s existence among the Old Testament’s minor prophets.  The prophet Habakkuk lived in Judah approximately 600 years before the coming of Christ during the final decades of the kingdom of Judah. 

Even though many of us aren’t very familiar with Habakkuk’s prophecy, it is very relevant for our lives today.  People who have studied and heard sermons on Habakkuk say that Habakkuk asks their questions about suffering and evil in the world. 

We will be focusing on Habakkuk during the first five weeks of Lent.  During Passion Week, we will focus on the final events of Jesus’ life and ministry.

Here is the calendar for this message series during morning worship:

February 18 – The First Sunday of Lent – How Long? – Habakkuk 1:1-4

February 25 – The Second Sunday of Lent – Why? – Habakkuk 1:5-17

March 4 – The Third Sunday of Lent – When? – Habakkuk 2:1-5

 March 11 – The Fourth Sunday of Lent – Woe! – Habakkuk 2:6-20

March 18 – The Fifth Sunday of Lent – Yet! – Habakkuk 3:1-19

May this Lenten series help us to worship with trumpets, tears, and ashes and give answers to some of our most heartfelt questions as we reflect on our Savior who suffered for our sins in our place.

Pastor Mark



Mark Bennink