Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Newsletter Article this week

Lent is here. Last Wednesday we gathered in the sanctuary to have ashen crosses placed on our foreheads. This is a yearly reminder of our humility and our dependence on God. We know that Lent is a time to confess our sins, and to turn toward God. Some of us will give something up- we will deny ourselves something we normally enjoy like dessert or potatoes or facebook (computer time).
You may have noticed some signs up around the church as well. The signs indicate that this Lent we have chosen to embark on a “40 day Journey of Love.” On this journey we will be exploring the heart of the Gospels as revealed in the teachings of Jesus, specifically his parables. Dee and I are issuing a challenge each week, something active to do along the way. The first week’s challenge was: write a note to someone who has made a difference in your life, letting them know what they mean to you. This week’s challenge is: to pray for someone other than yourself each day. Stay tuned for more challenges as we engage together in an ACTIVE Lenten journey.
Last Wednesday night we each got a small compass to keep with us during Lent to remind us that we are on a journey. What we get out of Lent, and out of our Easter morning is directly proportional to what we put into it. If we go around bragging about how we haven’t had any Diet Coke in two weeks, and have neglected to spend any time with God in prayer during those two weeks- then are we getting the most out of Lent? When you feel the pain of whatever you have chosen to give up for Lent, I hope that you will be reminded to draw close to God in prayer, being thankful for all the sacrifices God has made on your behalf.
In my Bible Study on Wednesday nights, I gave the class a worksheet to fill out about what they will do this Lent- maybe this will be helpful to you as well. I asked the following questions for reflection:
1. During this Lenten Season I hope to journey toward… (what are you focusing on this Lent- a closer relationship with Christ, knowing God more deeply?)
2. This Lent I will commit to… (what things will you actively do this Lent- pray, read your devotion book, write in your journal?)
3. This Lent I will give up… (are you giving up anything that will help remind you of Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf?):
4. The tools that will accompany me on the journey… (Bible, devotion book, online devotion?)
5. The companions that will share the journey… (who will hold you accountable, who will encourage you when the journey gets tough?)
6. On Easter Sunday I want to feel and experience…

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