Lent is coming.
To commemorate the time leading up to the Passion of Jesus Christ, aka “Holy Week,” we observe Lent in the spirit of Jesus’ fasting for 40 days in the desert. The story’s in all the canonical Gospels, across the board in Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Over time, Lenten traditions start building up to our current understanding of the meaning of the season. Fasting, prayer, connection and atonement (“at-one-ment”) with God. We hear our Catholic friends “give something up” for Lent, and we do it too! Fasting.
Fasting can come in several forms. You can give up chocolate, soda, cheese—any number of things that you think are bad for you. Things that separate you from God. I know several people who don’t drink during Lent. I know people who quit smoking for Lent and never went back (I quit so long ago—quit so many times before it stuck. So hard to do!) For others, it’s even hard to eat fish on Friday instead of red meat, or whatever.
Like, some people give up diet soda and instead give the money to something like Interfaith Food Pantry. Good idea! Think about giving up social media! (No kidding.) Some people skip lunch one day a week. Whatever works for you.
Some people start something new. Pick up a new discipline like morning prayer, reading a few lines of the Bible every morning or evening, reading a spiritual book, journaling etc. You get the idea. Start something new.
To that end, here’s something you might try:
Buy the book, 40 Days, 40 Prayers, 40 Words: Lenten Reflections for Everyday Life by Bruce Reyes-Chow. Some of us are reading this book, a little daily devotional. It’s short and it’s easy. This little book is an amazing quick and easy daily touchstone to check in with the Spirit. If you get the electronic version of it, you can do it each day no matter where you are! At home, on the train, at work, on your device. We’ll post a little graphic every day on the church’s social media to help remind you. Easy!
A good excuse to check in with God between Sundays, right?
Whatever you choose—to give something up, to start something—you’re open to the Spirit’s pushing you toward the resurrection. A resurrection of faith journey in your heart, soul, and mind. Discipleship. And the as such, you live into the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
How awesome is that?
Grace and peace,