A word from the interim minister
Lent was always an enigma to me in my childhood: Disciples didn't mention it much. Suddenly, in the late 1960's, Lent became a thing! Luckily, I had a great Roman Catholic friend, John (think of a religious Sheldon Cooper from "Big Bang Theory"!), who calmly explained to me how to do it right. He took it in profound seriousness, as though the foundations of the church would crumble if he didn't select the exact thing God had selected for him to "give up" during the 40 days (not counting Sundays) before Easter. I always told Mother I was giving up spinach, or beets, or green bean casseroles, or Sunday School, or homework: she recommended my giving up dessert, chocolate, and other sugary treats. It's no wonder it took me several years to truly embrace Lenten observances.
If you are a regular listener to my sermons, you know that when I was in Dublin, GA, as a pastor right after seminary, I was the Sunday School teacher for a group of 9 - 11 yearolds, and that they were the most brilliant children who ever walked the face of the earth (according to me, and their parents). When I was teaching them about how to have a "holy Lent," I talked about giving up something important to them (chocolate, desserts, soft drinks, etc.; I turned into my parents, it seems!). I've mentioned Saint Mandy before: she asked the question, "Can you take something on instead?" "What do you mean?" I responded. "You know, like can you do something good for someone every day, or once a week go visit someone homebound or sick, or collect money to give to the poor. That kind of thing?" Those kids sure made ministry easy!
Give up, or take on: do something this Lent. Good news: while I was living for a short time at a monastery, I learned that Sundays are "feast days:" what that means is that on Sundays, you ALWAYS celebrate the Resurrection, which means each week, you get a one-day break from your Lenten sacrifice (thank you once again, Jesus!).
Here are a few suggestions for a holy Lent (each one of these is a separate activity rather than several to do each day!): read a couple of Psalms each day; read the four Gospels; practice five minutes of silent sitting in the presence of God; have a regular devotional time; pray the prayer list from the previous Sunday; journal; make a prayer list and pray it daily; do a partial fast (skip one meal each day, if your health is good); do a partial fast once a week; take on a good deed to do each week. You get the idea: Lent is more than a reduction in chocolate consumption! For more ideas, check out these web sites (I do not endorse any of these; you can do your own search. But I saw some good ideas in each of these):
Lenten Ideas 1
Lenten Ideas 2
May God bless your intentions this Lent. -
#ccdoc #ncdisciples #christianchurch #christianchurchdisciplesofchrist #lent #journey #wilderness #40days #openandinclusive #allarewelcome
These thoughts and reflections come from our Senior Minister, Minister of Music and Board Chair. We hope that they provide both challenge and inspiration for your spiritual life.