Accept the Challenge
Discipline is a word that hearkens back to our childhood, or to the machinations of those in our lives who want us to conform to certain behaviors or to the needed requirement for developing “character.” Actually, the word is grounded in the word disciple, which means a “learner.” Discipline can become for us a way to encounter and learn new things about ourselves and to actively engage in extracting from those things insights that can deepen our understanding of life and spirit. Lent invites us to reenter the school of life and be discipled in the endless possibilities for growth. – Lenten Reflections
Each week we will post weekly Lenten challenges. These challenges are designed to take you on a weekly journey into different aspects of the brokenness of God’s world so that you can become an instrument of God’s healing and restoration. As we prepare for this Lenten season together, there are several disciplines you may want to consider that will facilitate your journey.
1. This journey is not meant to be traveled alone. Plan to begin each week with a group meeting with a spouse, family or friends. Look at your schedule for the six weeks of Lent. What do you need to give up 0ver this period in order to make weekly meetings possible? These times together are an important part of your journey. Maybe even plan a simple (soup and bread) meal as part of your community discipline. Give a different person responsibility for the meal each week. Allow time to discuss your struggles and plan your week’s activities. Spend time praying for each other and also for those who are less fortunate in our world.
2. Find an Ash Wednesday service (3/9) to attend as the first act of your Lenten journey. For Western Christians, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a day for penitence to cleanse the soul before the Lenten fast. Roman Catholic, Anglican, and other denominations hold special services at which worshippers are marked with ashes as a symbol of death, and a sign of penitence and mortality. Each time, the minister or priest says over each congregant, “Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return,” or a similar phrase based on God’s words to Adam in Genesis 3:19. At some churches, worshippers leave with the mark still on their forehead so that they carry the sign of the cross out into the world. At others, the service ends with the ashes being washed off as a sign that the participants have been cleansed of their sins.
3. Set aside time each day for solitary reflection. Buy a new journal specifically to reflect on your Lenten journey. Each day read through the scripture passages designated for the week (on the right sidebar of this blog). Which verse stands out for you? Read this verse aloud several times. Then spend time in quiet reflection. What is God saying to you through this verse? Write down any reflections, thoughts, and prayers that come out of your time.
5. Take time to visit our blog each week. Check out the new portions of Text and resources that will be added. Also post your own reflections, comments and struggles on what your experiencing for others to read. Use the blog as a tool to connect with this community through out the week.