The Season of Lent
The season of Lent is here! Lent is a time of repentance and reorienting our lives back to God. Often, we think of Lent as a time of giving up sweets or not eating meat on Fridays. The practice of self-denial is an important one in our consumeristic culture. However, if we fail to reflect upon the purpose of denying ourselves then we may miss out on the transformative power of the spiritual discipline. I have come to think about Lent both as a time of giving something up and a time of taking something up. Instead of just giving something up, what might happen if we also take something up like, for instance, a spiritual practice during the 40-day season (not counting Sundays) of Lent? The following list is meant to provoke your imagination about what might be possible during our observance of Lent. First UMC offers many worship, study and service opportunities during Lent. May you use this time of Lent to draw nearer to God, and to reflect upon taking up Jesus’ cross and following him.
Grace and peace,
TEN THINGS YOU CAN TRY FOR THE LENTEN SEASON:
- Try an electronic fast. Give up TV, Facebook, texting, tweeting, e-mail and all things electronic for one day every week. (Or everyday of Lent!) Use the time to read & pray.
- Start a prayer rhythm. Each day of Lent, pray for another person.
- Go deeper into the Bible. Attend a Bible Study or Sunday School class.
- Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it (maybe even yourself.)
- Give up soft drinks, fast food, tea or coffee. Give the money you save to help folks in a different part of the world who are in crisis.
- Create a daily quiet time. Spend 10 minutes a day in silence and prayer. Read a daily devotional for the season of Lent. See how it can help you add spiritual practice to your daily life beyond Lent.
- Cultivate a life of gratitude. Write someone a thank you letter each week and be aware of how many people have helped you along the way.
- Participate in a Lent Photo-a-Day practice and pray each day with your camera in your hand.
- Volunteer one hour or more each week with a local shelter, tutoring program, nursing home, prison ministry.
- Pray for others you see as you walk as you walk to and from classes or drive to and from work.