Ways to Experience Lent

Yesterday started Lent with Ash Wednesday.

For those who have been United Methodist (or Catholic or Lutheran), Lent is something you’ve experienced in some way your entire life. For others who may have come from another church or no church background, Lent may be a new thing. It starts on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before Easter. If you exclude Sundays (which are non-fasting days), that equals 40 days.

Christians have been setting aside time before Easter for spiritual preparation from the beginning of our religious movement. Lent became a formal thing in 325.

“A period of preparation and fasting likely has been observed before the Easter festival since apostolic times, though the practice was not formalized until the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.” –Brittanica

Lent can be a powerful season spiritually if you choose to use it as one. Here are some ways you can deepen your spiritual journey as we move towards Easter:
  • Do a Selective Fast – Give Something Up – This has been one of the more common (traditional) things in the Methodist movement over the years. If you choose to give something up, ask yourself why you choose to give that item(s) up. Don’t give up exercising because you dislike exercising. On the flip side, if exercising keeps you from spending time with your family and/or God, then you could give it up and use that time in other ways.
  • Add a Practice Not everyone can fast or give something up. Another wonderful way is to add something into your daily life that helps you focus on God. For example, the Lent Photo-a-day-Challenge (pictured above) is a tool for reflection. Or, you could add a new time for prayer each day.
  • Find Ways to Help Those in Need – There are lots of cool ways to help others during Lent. You can put 1 item a day into a donation box and give food or clothes. Another way is to avoid going out to eat and then give that money to others, like the Food Pantry or to the church’s missions fund. We’ll be serving those in need as well. Click here to learn more.

No matter what you choose, I encourage you to do something to deepen your spiritual journey during Lent. It will help you be even more connected to God when Easter arrives. Have questions about what to do? Let’s chat.
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