Dear Glen Mar friends,
Next Wednesday, the 26th, is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the Lenten season. It's a great time to work on our "Give me 5" disciplines as ways to draw closer to God. (Scripture (5 verses a day), Prayer (5 times a day), Worship (5 weekends a month - grin), Giving ($5 a week or more) and Service (5 service projects a year)).
Lent is a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays, as a time of preparation for Easter. The death and resurrection of Christ are true whether or not we prepare for Easter. However, if we prepare our hearts by spiritual disciplines, acts of worship, and service to others, Easter will be even more meaningful and real in our lives.
Here are some ideas for Lenten commitments that you might feel led to make this year - to help in your "Give me 5!"
Inward and Personal Disciplines
___ Spend time in solitude each day.
___ Read a book for inner growth.
___ Read twice through the Gospel of the lectionary cycle you are in. (Matthew in 2020)
___ Begin to keep a journal of prayer concerns, questions, reading.
___ Focus on thanksgiving, rather than on asking, in prayer.
___ Give yourself a gift of three hours to do something you always say you don't have time to do.
___ Make a list of people with whom we need to be reconciled. Pray for them and let Jesus guide us in our thinking and feeling toward them.
___ Go to all of the Holy Week services as an act of love and waiting with Jesus.
___ Take one hour to inventory priorities and plan how we will reorder them because we follow Christ.
___ Give up a grudge or a rehearsal of a past event.
___ Forgive someone who has hurt me.
___ Dance my prayers to some favorite music.
___ Attend worship each week without fail this Lent.
Outward and Social Disciplines
___ Take on some loving task.
___ Plan to visit a "shut-in" neighbor or church member weekly.
___ Write a letter of affirmation once a week to a person who has touched my life.
___ Listen and respond to Christ's call to a ministry of service.
___ Go to coffee or dinner with someone I want to know better.
___ Share how God has changed my life with someone who does not go to my
___ Invite someone to come with me to church.
___ Clean a trail or roadway in my neighborhood.
___ Volunteer at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. (Day Resource Center is last Wednesday of the month)
___ Say "NO" to something that is a waste of money and time.
___ Pray to God to help me resist prejudice, evil, injustice and oppression and to give me courage in opposing it.
___ Decide to become a member of the church and speak to a pastor or lay leader.
___ Rebuke the spirit of criticism and my own tongue out of control.
___ Find a way to live out the baptismal promise to "resist evil, injustice, and
oppression" in the power and liberty God gives us by ___________________.
___ Other outward and social promptings:
As a way of being accountable, I will either:
___ Share my intentions for Lent with a group I'm a part of at church, or
___ Share my plan with at least one other person and share with that person my
experience of Lent during Holy Week.
Lent is a holy and wonderful time to clean out the closets of our souls, and get in touch with God who always "sparks joy" and brings new life. (Marie Kondo has NOTHING on Lent.) Won't you join us this Lent as we walk with Jesus, from the temptations of the wilderness to the cross and the empty tomb?
Thank you for your faithfulness and commitment to Jesus, to Glen Mar and to each other.
See you in Church,