So what is Lent? And how do we “practice” during Lent?
Lent is the 40 day liturgical season between Ash Wednesday and Easter. (Sundays don’t count, because they’re “feast days”: mini celebrations of the anticipated Easter). The forty days represents the time Jesus was in the wilderness, being tempted, and preparing for his ministry. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God. Our tradition invites each of us to observe a holy Lent:
by self-examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting, and self-denial;
and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.
And, to make a right beginning of repentance,
and as a mark of our mortal nature.
So, what does this mean? That we should give something up? That we should take on a new discipline? That we should renew our commitment to attending corporate worship? It means different things for each one of us, and may mean different things each year. The idea is that we take some time to reflect on our lives and our relationship with God.
Below is a sampling of the many resources that are available to help us do that. Check out a few and see what you find appealing.
May you have a holy Lent.
Adults & Teens Bible Study
- Lenten and Easter Study “The Good Book Club” (Luke/Acts)
- Lenten Study “Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John”
- Family Lenten devotional (ELCA)
- Mary Oliver Poems for Lent
- Youth: Lenten Madness 2018 (March Madness-style bracket with daily devotionals concerning the lives of the saints. Vote and play!)
- Richard Rohr’s (Center for Action and Contemplation, NM) Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter
- The 2018 Lenten Meditation guide offered by Episcopal Relief and Development focuses on Early Childhood Development. Download a .pdf file or sign up to receive the daily meditations by email
Home Practice Ideas
- Ash Wednesday bonfire
- Lent in a Bag
- Create a prayer station at home
- The Lord’s Prayer tracing cross
- Adding a practice? Or giving up? Article to discuss
- Praying in color (info and Lenten calendar templates)
- Lenten Giving calendar
- Ga. Mountain Food Bank food donations (if you use their giving calendar) https://www.gamountainfoodbank.org/donate-food/
- Lenten Quiet Day: at Grace Church on Saturday, February 17 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- The Heart of Centering Prayer: with Cynthia Bourgeault at the Cathedral of St. Philip, Saturday, March 17
- A Tale of Two Postures: Grasping and Yielding: with Fr. Stuart at Mary and Martha’s Place, February 24 from 9:00 AM -1:30 PM
- Bringing Faith Home: with David Anderson at Grace Church, Saturday, March 3 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Other Online Ongoing Resources
- From the Society of St. John the Evangelist (Episcopal Monastery in Massachusetts): daily devotions, sermon series, and the Lenten journal for the Meeting Jesus in John website
- Richard Rohr’s daily email meditations
- World Community for Christian Meditation resources, Laurence Freeman’s reflections