Its time to get ready for Lent and over the rest of the week I will post links to my updated resource lists for Lent. However I must confess that as I started to work on these I found myself struggling a little. There are so many resources available for Lent – including MSA’s: Lenten devotional A Journey Into Wholeness, with a rich array of reflections and activities for the season, Lenten prayer cards that also provide a focus and free Lenten activity guide 40+ ideas for Lent and Easter
What we need is not more resources. We need more time to sit in the presence of God and stir our imaginations and creativity so that our Lenten practices enter our hearts and souls and transforms us into the people God intends us to be. As you know our theme at MSA for Lent is Hungering for Life. We don’t want to tell you how to celebrate Lent, we want to invite you to stir your imagination and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire you and encourage you to take God’s reconciling work seriously during this season.
The place I suggest you start is with creating your own sacred space for Lent.
A couple of years ago I started a practice where I burnt the crosses and palms from the previous year to make a pile of ashes that became my focus for the season. Last year it inspired this prayer and reflection and this year I am asking God to stir my imagination in new ways in order to draw closer to God’s heart for reconciliation within myself as well as in my relationship to God, to others and to God’s creation.
So take some time to create your own sacred space for Lent. Here are some possibilities to prayerfully consider.
- Your dining room table. Eating meals is a holy time. Regardless of how busy you are in the week, make time for at least one meal to be shared with others. Believe me, you’ve got time. You’ve got to make time. And perhaps you can make this a time of reconciliation with those with whom you have been estranged.
- Something you are thinking of throwing out, like my old crosses and palms from last year. Recycled items as a focus for Lent reminds us that God is in the business of transformation and recreation.
- Clean a space for Lent. Spring cleaning was a traditional Lenten practice that symbolized the cleaning inside and out that was meant to take place during this season. What is one space you have wanted to clean up that you could recreate as a focus for Lent?
- Use colour and texture. The traditional colour for Lent is purple but that does not mean that we need to use it. Perhaps there are other colours, textures and images that speak to you about your own personal need for repentance and reconciliation. Imagine ways that you could use these to create a special place for your celebrations during this season.
- Incorporate images. I have a collection of icons, crosses and other images that I love to rearrange for different seasons on the year. Some have been given to me, others I have created, like my Celtic cross on stone from last year. I love to sit with some of these images in front me when it comes time to rearrange my sacred space and allow the spirit of God to help me choose which images are appropriate for the upcoming season. I have found this to provide a very profound experience that nurtures and instructs me throughout the season
- Bring nature into your sacred space. By now most of you know that I do not consider a sacred space to be complete unless it incorporates a garden, a plant or even a beautiful photo of a special landscape or flower. As one of the prime ways that God speaks to us is through the created world, I think this is important for all of us to include in our sacred spaces.
- Use your artistic gifts to create something new. All of us have been gifted with creativity and imagination, yet we rarely use it in our spiritual observances. Some of us are unaware of our creativity. Others are unsure how to create with the purposes of God in mind. Prayerfully ask God to stir your imagination to create something that flows out of the unique creativity with which God has gifted you. It could be a poem, a piece of art, a photo, a collage, something you knit, carve or sculpt. Or it could be an entirely new art form that is uniquely you.
I hope you will take time to create your own sacred space this Lent. If you do I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below or email me with your ideas and images.
Please check out our complete list of Godspace resources for Lent through Holy Week