What is Lent?
Daniel Benedict of the United Methodist Church explains Lent this way:
“Lent is a time of preparation for the initiation of people into the Christian life in
baptism. It is also a time for the church to journey together toward Easter and the
reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant. Lent is not about being miserable, sad,
and funereal in anticipation of Good Friday. The Sundays of Lent are not part of
the forty days of Lent and so remain “little Easters,” as are all Sundays. Fasting
and giving up something can be part of Lenten disciplines, but so can taking on
some things. How can our church help seekers and members to connect worship
and daily growth in spiritual, relational, emotional, and bodily fitness?
Some ways to “practice” Lent.
Inward and Personal Disciplines
___ Spend time in solitude each day.
___ Read a book for inner growth.
___ Read the Gospels.
___ Begin to keep a journal of prayer concerns, questions, reading.
___ Focus on thanksgiving, rather than on asking, in prayer.
___ Give myself a gift of three hours to do something I always say I don’t have time to do.
___ Find a way to go to bed earlier or sleep in so I get enough rest.
___ Make a list of people with whom I need to be reconciled. Pray for them and let Jesus guide me in
my thinking and feeling toward them.
___ Go to all of the Holy Week services as an act of love and waiting with Jesus.
___ Give up a grudge or a rehearsal of a past event.
___ Forgive someone who has hurt me.
___ Dance my prayers to a favorite tape or CD.
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.
___ Begin to recycle waste from my home and workplace.
___ Give blood and recall the cross.
___ Call the AIDS project and ask how I can help.
___ Say “NO” to something that is a waste of money and time.
___ Rebuke the spirit of criticism and my own tongue out of control.
___ Other outward and social promptings: