Lent is upon us! Didn’t we JUST put the Christmas ornaments away? Seems like time and seasons are coming faster and faster. During Advent, we spent weeks getting ourselves ready to receive the gift of a baby who would change our lives and our world. Now we must get ourselves ready to receive the gift He offers us. We must take time to examine ourselves in the mirror and see our brokenness. During the Lenten season we will be going to the Bible for stories of brokenness and we’ll see how the people in these stories dealt with their sin. The good news is that WE already have the Good News! We get to examine our brokenness while knowing that God loves us and Christ died for us ANYWAY!
I hope that we can use this knowledge to really closely and honestly examine ourselves. My goal is that we are able during these Lenten weeks to really find the path that God has cleared for us and that by Easter Celebration; we can all have our feet placed firmly and joyfully on those paths!
We will actually begin our Lent services the week before Lent begins. On February 7th we will celebrate a special communion service where we hope to have our hearts opened to receive the messages that will be coming. On that Sunday we will have available some materials that will help you to worship and prepare. We will have some Lenten devotionals for those of you who like to have something special during these weeks. Some of you like to do some sort of fasting during Lent and so there will be instructions for the Daniel Fast for you to take.
Some of you like to do a Lenten sacrifice and will choose something to give up during Lent. Or, instead of giving something up, why not take something up. You could do a random secret act of kindness every week or every day in Lent. Or you could do something that I do. I call it “In Kyle’s Honor”. When my son died, we had two memorials for him and over and over I heard people tell me how he had touched their lives in a positive way. Everyone wanted Kyle’s mom to know that he had been loved and respected and a positive part of their lives…the problem is that Kyle had not known that. What a difference it might have made in his life if he had. So, “In Kyle’s Honor” I write little notes to the people in my life who have made a difference somehow. Not just the BIG differences, but also the small unexpected ones. The lady at the store who smiled at you when you were feeling down, the neighbor who shovels you out on occasion, the child at church who gave you a hug. Write a note every day in Lent to someone who has made a positive impact on your life. Mother Theresa said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love”! These small notes can be the small things with great love we can do. Since I have been doing this, I have had some heart bursting experiences from the notes I’ve sent AND the ones I’ve received. You cannot imagine the joy these notes can bring. Plus writing them helps you to heal your own brokenness because as you focus on the joys and gifts of your life, you realize how blessed you are.
Whatever you choose to do to prepare, my prayer for you is that the journey is a good and life changing one. But don’t keep this to yourselves! Invite your friends and family! Let’s make this Lenten season a turning point in our spiritual journey…..together! Shalom!