Lent is a story of the journey of the people of God. It is the story of us, or more appropriately “God with us.” During this season, we remember the journey of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and a generation spent wandering in the wilderness. We also re-enact, in our own small ways, Jesus’ journey into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil. The fast that many Christians commit to during Lent is a reflection of the 40-day fast Jesus undertook during this time.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to a discipline that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and neighbor. I invite you to participate in the discipline of Lent—self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love—strengthened by the gifts of word and sacrament. These are the four disciplines, or spiritual practices, that guide our time during Lent. Here are some ideas for these practices:
- Repentance: What are some of the challenges that make it difficult to focus on God and your neighbor?
- Prayer and Fasting: What fast will you choose this Lent? How will your prayers and fasting help remind you of the needs of your neighbor during this season?
- Sacrificial Giving: How will you support your neighbor this Lent? Consider committing to a giving goal to our Lenten Challenge to the Global Barnyard.
- Works of Love: Martin Luther reminds us that we are not saved by works—but grace does call us to offer our works with joy and gratitude to our neighbors need. How might you “take hold of the promise” this Lent by your works of love for others?
May God bless your Lenten journey. And may your practice of the discipline of Lent enrich your faith and your commitment to sharing in the work God is doing in our world.