From OUR Certified Lay Minister
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
The Lenten Season is upon us. Sometimes it can be a struggle to keep a Holy Lent and to set aside time to focus on what that means.
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays. Sundays represent a “mini-Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (March 6th) and ends on Holy Saturday (April 20th). The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. Christians often focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
I would like to make some suggestions as to what you may consider doing during Lent. My prayer is that these suggestions will help you to set some time aside each day to focus on the Lenten Journey in the extremely fast-paced world in which we live.
Day 1: Pray for your enemies.
Day 2: Walk, carpool, bike, or bus it.
Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio.
Day 4: Give $10 to a non-profit.
Day 5: Take 5 minutes of silence at 6:00 PM.
Day 7: Give 5 items of clothing away.
Day 8: No complaining today.
Day 9: Do something nice for someone else.
Day 10: Buy a couple of $5 fast food gift cards to give to people in need that you encounter.
Day 11: Call an old friend in need.
Day 12: Pray the Paper (pray for people and situations in today’s news.)
Day 13: Read Psalm 139
Day 14: Pay a few sincere compliments.
Day 15: TV-free day.
Day 16: Educate yourself on the UMC’s Social Principles.
Day 17: Forgive someone.
Day 18: No internet day (except for work)
Day 19: Offer to help someone.
Day 20: Pray for the United Methodist Church.
Day 21: Ask for help.
Day 22: Tell someone what you are grateful for.
Day 23: Introduce yourself to a neighbor.
Day 24: Read Psalm 121.
Day 25: Make a dessert for someone.
Day 26: No shopping day.
Day 27: Compliment a stranger.
Day 28: Invite someone to come to Worship with you.
Day 29: Write a thank you note.
Day 30: Invest in canvas shopping bags.
Day 31: Spend time enjoying music.
Day 32: Donate food items to the church’s food pantry.
Day 33: Read John 8:1-11
Day 34: Worship at a friend’s mosque, synagogue, or church and look for the beauty.
Day 35: Confess a secret.
Day 36: No sugar day—where else is there sweetness in your life?
Day 37: Give $10 to a non-profit.
Day 38: Notice the beauty of God’s creation.
Day 39: Pray for peace.
Day 40: Pray for your enemies (you probably have new ones by now) then decide which of these exercises you’ll keep for good.