Welcome to Lent! This is a time of 40 days preparing our hearts and lives for Easter- resurrection Sunday. It is a discipline of the Christian life to remember the cadence of death and resurrection. In this season of the Church we remember that new life springs out of brokenness and death, much like a seed planted in the ground. Earlier this month we broke a communal fast as a congregation. How might the space we made to encounter God during the fast be preparing us for Lent? What are the places of brokenness and death you still long to see resurrected? This week, let’s reaffirm our commitment to encounter Christ, trusting in his resurrection.
What is a step you can take to prepare your heart to encounter Jesus in this Lenten season?
Some ideas and examples-
- Set aside time and space to sit with Jesus for 15 minutes each day
- Take a walk and ask the Lord how he would like you to prepare for Lent, listen to how he prompts you
- Determine an hour to practice your craft centered on Lent- play music about death and brokenness, paint as you think about what needs to be put to death this year for you, write about how you are entering Lent, photograph the things the speak to you about rebirth…
What is one thing you can do to prepare your home for Lent this week?
Some ideas and examples-
- Set your table with objects that invite you to spend time with Jesus
- Move artwork to a prominent place that focuses your mind on Lenten themes
- Plant a seed in the dirt and leave it where you can watch it
- Make a contemplation corner with a chair, rug, table- a place you want to sit and focus on the Lord
Prayer Practice: Lectio-Divina
Begin in silence, turning all your thoughts and desires over to God.
Read Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 slowly and carefully at least twice. Notice any word, phrase or image that seems to have energy for you. It could be a word that invites you, a phrase that puzzles you or an image that intrigues you.
Sit in silence with your word or phrase or image. Ruminate on the word gently, allowing it to sink into your heart deeply. Consider how it connects with your life today. Ponder how it calls you to confession, gratitude, or a new way of living. This may even include a struggling with the text as the word becomes incarnate within you.
Fall deeply into prayer. Be honest with God about your feelings. If you want, write your word in your journal. Draw your image. Express how God is present with you now.
Rest silently in the presence of God. Move beyond words, phrases or images. Enjoy the freedom that comes in His presence.