Jesus lived a remarkable life–one that we remember throughout the year. During Advent we remember his coming; Christmas, his birth; Lent, his death; Easter, his resurrection; and Pentecost, his Spirit. Lent, the 40-days leading to Easter, is a time to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross, his suffering, and his sacrifice. Jesus lived with his arms open to others--serving, loving, helping, conversing, and inviting others into his life.
Worship doesn’t just happen on Sundays. Our Lent video series is an opportunity to be with God during the week. Each Wednesday, we will share in a time of worship–online–with music and a Lenten devotional from one of our pastors. This may serve as an inspiration to you as you develop your own Lenten practices.
There's A Place
Breath of Life
The End of the Story
Lent is the 40-day season leading up to Easter. In this season we walk with Jesus on his journey to the cross, and eventually celebrate his resurrection. Lent is a time of prayer, reflection, and preparation for Easter. Christians today use this period for introspection, self-examination, and repentance. Each week during Lent we will participate in a different practice. Some involve a giving up. Others involve a taking on. If you find one that is particularly life-giving, you have the freedom to continue in that practice as long as you like. However, if one practice seems impossible for you, do not skip over it. We become like Christ as we train with him, under his leadership. Ask him to help you and guide your practices as you take on his yoke and learn from him (Matthew 11.28-30).
First Week of Lent, March 5: Margin
Create space and time so you can focus on God, your soul, health, family, and leisure. Creating margin involves eliminating unnecessary things from our lives. It is a simple, but very difficult practice to do. Say no to anything that is not absolutely necessary to the well-being of your soul or welfare of others. Here are ideas for creating margin:
- Get up ten minutes earlier and create a space for silence before you begin your day.
- Cut out unnecessary entertainment activities.
- Explore scaling back some of your commitments by asking, “Is it essential?”
- Second Week of Lent, March 12: Hospitality
- Spend time with at least one person who is not like you. Some examples would include: asking a co-worker you hardly know to have coffee with you; inviting a family or
- individual who is outside of your circle to Sunday lunch; spending time with someone who is disabled or somehow on the margins of society. Really listen to the person(s) who
- are with you. Remember that God has extended an extravagant invitation to all of us.
Second Week of Lent, March 12: Hospitality
Spend time with at least one person who is not like you. Some examples would include: asking a co-worker you hardly know to have coffee with you; inviting a family or individual who is outside of your circle to Sunday lunch; spending time with someone who is disabled or somehow on the margins of society. Really listen to the person(s) who are with you. Remember that God has extended an extravagant invitation to all of us.
Third Week of Lent, March 19: Media Fast
Prayerfully choose a 48-hour period in your week to fast from all media. This includes the discretionary use of the internet, social media, television and movies, video and phone games, radio, newspapers and magazines, music on a playlist. This is challenging and requires planning. For two days, give your mind a breather from the noise, allowing the Holy Spirit some room to renew your thinking.
Fourth Week of Lent, March 26: Reading the Gospel of John
Divide the reading of the Gospel into four sections, reading 5-7 chapters in a single setting. Simply read this Gospel as if you were reading a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Try not to make it a Bible study, as one does when cross-referencing Scripture or consulting commentaries. In John’s distinctive account of Jesus’ life, he gives us a clear depiction of Jesus’ relationship with his Heavenly Father. By reading the entire Gospel of John, we experience the complete story.
Fifth Week of Lent, April 2: Three Days without Gossip
Try to have three days without saying anything negative about a person who is not present. Perhaps the most pervasive form of judgment is gossip. There are two elements included in gossip: 1) speaking negatively 2) about someone who is not present. If you are in a conversation where there is gossip, excuse yourself and walk away, or refuse to participate and change the subject as soon as possible.
Sixth Week of Lent April 9: Secret Service
This week, without being noticed, do three things that will bless someone. You might volunteer without posting anything on social media, send an unsigned note of appreciation, clean up the break room at work and leave people wondering who did it, or ask God to send you a person in need. We can easily become dependent on the approval of others and end up with a heart divided between pleasing God and pleasing people, or trying to impress others. This week, learn to enjoy the approval of your God who sees what’s done in secret, even when others don’t see or understand what you are doing.