Welcome to the season of Lent! Lent season is when many Christians spend time in contemplative soul searching. The season of Lent has developed into a personal venture for individuals to realign their relationship with God aspiring to live a more consecrated spiritual life. Lent is a period of forty days or approximately six weeks leading up to Easter day. All Sundays within this time frame are omitted within the forty days of Lent, and Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season. Lent also shadows the start of Jesus’ ministry leading up to Holy Week which reflects the beginning of the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth before his betrayal and crucifixion, and ending on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Throughout the whole season of lent acts of penitence has played a significant role in many denominations. Some churches use as a penitence exercise the practice of fasting. It was through Fasting that the idea of Lent was derived when Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness fasting and was tempted with various human inclinations, but was able to resist them. Many Christians continue to carry on the custom of fasting by abstaining from various luxuries. Additionally, deeds of charity toward the poor and other spiritual disciplines are brought into focus to enrich one’s spiritual endeavors and growth.
Lent season is an opportune time to get reacquainted with the spiritual disciplines within the Christian faith. I would like to encourage all of our members to use this season to engage in contemplation and self-reflection pondering over various sayings and events of Jesus’ life. Challenge yourself to explore one of the spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith during this time.
Here are some suggestions that may help you experience a meaningful Lent season. Select one out of the six spiritual disciplines that I have arranged to speak on during our worship services. The six spiritual disciplines includes; prayer, fasting, meditation, scripture study, service, and confession. There are other spiritual disciplines that are not mentioned here and they are just as enriching. Next, do a personal study using a Bible, Concordance, and a Bible Dictionary or a Religious Encyclopedia to learn as much as you can about the discipline that interests you. It is good to discuss your findings on the subject with your pastor or with someone who is familiar with the teachings and context of Scripture. When you have gathered enough information to feel confident in the validity of the subject arrange a set time during Lent to regularly practice your chosen spiritual discipline. Next, keep a journal of your activities and reflect upon any significant moments as you engage in your practice. It is always good when embarking upon any new endeavor to start simple and small like a seed. Allow yourself to grow into the practice if it is something that is not quite familiar to you. Ask God for insight and wisdom as you study and practice - have faith. As your pastor I extend an open door to anyone who wishes to discuss any of these spiritual disciplines. Exploring the spiritual disciplines could open new doors of understanding of the Christian faith and its power in your life. Happy Lent season!
Grace and love,
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