Lent Day 1 - Weds Feb 17th
Commemorating the “forty days and forty nights” when Jesus fasted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2), Lent is a season of repentance, self-examination and reflection for Christians. Usually we practice giving up things, like chocolate or other favourite foods, but this Lent, with everything we have been forced to give up, how about marking these 40 days by trying to “Take up”!”
“Take up”, things and practices for the next 40 days that will mark your journey well. Here are some suggestions;
Praying: Daily prayer is a spiritual practice that many people find difficult to maintain. Consider combining prayer with an already established part of your daily routine. For example, every time you brush your teeth you could say a short prayer of thanksgiving for your day. I have suggested to the Howth Road children to set an alarm for once a day, to hold a tea spoon (tsp) and within 5 minutes to say: ‘t’ one things you are thankful for, ‘s’ think about matters you are sorry about, ‘p’ any things you wish to ask the Lord helps for.
Daily check in with God: The “Daily Examine” is a long-standing spiritual practice, championed by Ignatius of Loyola over 400 years ago and still practiced today! It involves spending time at the end of each day reflecting on God’s presence in our daily activities and discerning God’s direction for us. A simple way to do this on your own or with others is to ask:
At what moments did you sense God’s presence today?
When did it feel like God was far away?
Practicing generosity: The biblical practice of “almsgiving”—giving food or goods to those in need—is a good practice for Christians year round, but has traditionally been emphasized during Lent. How about daily putting an amount aside in a ‘piggy bank’, or setting an amount aside to be given at the end of Lent to a given project.
There will be a daily exploration on the church website. With the help of Samuel, I will post a daily ‘did you know’ video, in order to help us all explore our journey together.