Its time to get ready for Lent and Easter and I want to challenge all of us to consider taking Lent seriously this year. Lent is often regarded as a season of soul-searching and repentance for all Christians as a preparation for the joy and celebration of Easter. Unfortunately our soul searching is often as perfunctory as our sacrifices. We spend a little more time reading the Bible and praying. Some of us spend a few hours working with a local mission, but otherwise our lives are unchanged. And after Easter, there is very little to show for our commitment.
So lets us take Lent more seriously and help others to take the plunge too. Let us accept the challenge to develop new disciplines and reach out more actively as God’s loving and compassionate hands. The theme for our Lenten journey this year is is A Journey Into Wholeness. We are planning a multi-pronged approach to the season.
Here at Godspace we will post daily reflections, prayers and practical suggestions for the weeks of Lent. We already have an exciting array of bloggers signed up to contribute posts. These will complement the publication of our new Lenten/Easter devotional A Journey Into Wholeness: Soul Travel from Lent to Easter, now available for pre-order at a special discount price from the MSA website. This book is based on the popular Lenten guide we published some years ago but information and resources have been updated and daily reflections have been added. We hope that you will consider journeying with us through the book as we share the season together. As many of you know this book arose out of my frustration with the triviality of most peoples’ commitment to Lent – giving up chocolate or lattes for 40 days just does not seem to cut it.
Each week of Lent emphasizes a different area of brokenness in our world. Over the five weeks of Lent we will deal with issues of inner healing, hunger, homelessness, stewardship of creation and the brokenness of God’s family.It is our hope that the daily reflections in the book and the additional reflections on the blog will help draw people more fully into those themes, beginning a few days before Lent with reflections on preparing for Lent and Easter.
Keith Anderson President of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology comments:
To offer daily reflections into wholeness will require substance, range, and depth, if it is to be richly whole itself. The readings in front of you now offer all of that in an accessible way. The material recognizes that we come to the journey with others—there are reflections on the Cross, on self but also on others, creation, and God’s family. The material offers practical ideas for individuals and households. And, because it is written by an ensemble of writers, the material is evocative. You will find yourself drawn into ideas, stories, and more—invited to set out on this journey with others in the season of Lent. I recommend it to you with great hope for what you will see on the journey.
We hope that you will not just read along with us but commit to some of the suggested practices. Maybe you would like to join us for the $2 challenge , or leave your car at home for a week and take public transport. Perhaps you would like to spend a night in a homeless shelter, or visit a couple of churches with different theological perspectives and seek to understand their viewpoints. Whatever you decide we hope that you will share your stories with us so that we can encourage each other by our actions.
Those who live in the Seattle area might like to join us March 1st for our pre-Lent retreat, Return to Our Senses In Lent. This will provide a great opportunity to prepare your heart and establish some new practices for the season. We are also working on a new set of Lenten prayer cards that we hope will help us follow through with our intentions. I suggest you write your weekly commitment on the back of the card so that you can revisit it at regular intervals through each day.
So my question for you today is: How will you use the season of Lent to move from brokenness to wholeness this year? Will you join us in the journey?