Lent is often portrayed as a journey, from one point in time (Ash Wednesday) to another point (Easter Sunday). By whatever measure the journey is evaluated, it is not only the time that is important but the essential experiences of the journey that are necessary for a full appreciation of what is being celebrated.
However, the Lenten journey is also a process of spiritual growth. Thus, it presumes movement from one state of being to another state. As we travel this journey together at Grace, we invite you to join us.
Listed below are a series of spiritual practices that we invite you to consider taking over the next 40 days. You can do them alone or as a family unit. Each practice is an invitation to open, broaden, and deepen our awareness to God’s presence in our everyday lives. Whether you choose one practice to engage in each day during Lent or change the practice each day, we invite you to join God in this time of intentional growth and renewal.
• Circle of gratitude – Before meals invite everyone around the table to share one thing they are grateful for that day.
• Write a list of things you’re grateful for. Carry it with you all day, and pull it out when you catch yourself complaining
• Find out about families or individuals who will be alone at Easter and invite them to join you at our Easter worship service and share a meal with them afterwards.
• Think of people who haven’t heard from you in a while. Give them a call, or send them a card. If there is something that needs mending in your relationship, take the first step.
• Practice random acts
of anonymous kindness.
• Learn about sources of injustice and oppression that result in destructive behaviors that hurt individuals, communities, and creation and take some practical step to combat it.
• Plan a service project your family can do together. If you need ideas, contact our church office and we will connect you to opportunities that are appropriate for your family.
• “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Turn off the TV, computer, phone and rest in the stillness for 5 minutes or for the entire day.
• Choose one day in Lent, or one day each week to prayerfully explore your spending habits and refrain from making purchases on that day.
• Fast from any form of sarcasm or criticism.
• Write a letter to God explaining the habits, behaviors, and sin patterns you want to die
to this Lenten season
• Begin each day with a prayer of mindfulness–that you will be attentive to the ways God is present in the world–in your life–throughout the day. Near the end of the day, ask yourself, “Where did I see God today?” Make a list.
• Try a new physical posture during prayer – If you are able, kneel during part of your prayer. Pray with your hands open to God, or even find a space alone and talk with God out loud.
Read Reflect or Remember:
• Select a spiritual book or book of the bible that you have wanted to read and set aside time during each day or week during Lent.
• Slow down and observe the Sabbath. Whether Sabbath time is one hour in a day or a 24 hour period, take time to intentionally stop “working” and spend time in worship, prayer, and family time.
• Reflect on your faith journey and remember the names of those in whose footsteps you are following and who is on the road with you now. Find a way to share with them your gratitude for journeying with you.
• Death is inevitably part of the Lenten journey. As we tell the story of Jesus’ death on the cross and find assurance of the new life we have because of the resurrection. Take some time to remember those who have new life with God and be strengthened by the witness of their lives. Take our photos of family members and friends who have died. Talk about these people with your children or share their stories with a friend