I was asked to write a devotion for a local congregation for Lent. I think I failed in the actual task at hand. Instead I wrote what you will read below.
Just as I shared on Facebook ideas for families during Advent, there are some great ideas out there to celebrate Lent as a family, group, or even an individual. Even though my Lent activity will be different than my Advent, I still wanted to share some good ideas.
I receive several different devotions each day, but I am much better at more kinesthetic ways of growing in my faith. For those of you like me, here are some ways to get you started. Lent isn’t just about giving something up or taking something on. It is about finding ways to make your faith and life, and others, more whole.
This Devotion has Homework
Mainline Christians have reclaimed traditions of Lent over the past 20 years. Many more people are using the 40 days of Lent in a variety of ways to help their faith grow. It is the one time that some people actually intentionally think about their faith beyond the worship service. This means that some people find themselves in their homes, with their families, trying to find ways to learn and worship.
As a Family and Children’s minister, giving families practical ways to help them engage in their faith as a family is part of my call. It is not just about writing something profound for you to read, but giving you activities that bring the faith story to life.
I guess that means that today’s devotion has some homework. You can find others or try some of the activities listed on your own. Include a grandchild, neighbor, or set some specific alone time. You get to pick what works for you.
Here are some ideas from a Pintrest post (online community) I liked.
- Make a Prayer Chain: List 40 intentions or people on 40 slips of paper. Link them together into a chain. Rip one off each morning of Lent and pray for that need.
- Bury the Hallelujah: Explain why we don’t proclaim hallelujah during Lent. To symbolize, write out hallelujah on paper and bury it in the yard.
- Temptation Cookies: While baking cookies, tell your children about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. When the cookies are done, leave them on the table, but they cannot eat them until the next day. Talk about how tempting this might be and what we can do to resist temptation.
- Make a Tomb Scene or find a coloring page online.
- Visit a Cemetery: Find a family member in a cemetery and explain how Jesus died so this person could go to heaven.
- Make an Easter Basket for a Neighbor.
- Dress in Purple: Explain how purple is a color of mourning but also a color of royalty – Jesus the King.
- Go on a Garden Walk: Explain the story of the Garden of Gethsemane.
You can also go to Vibrant Faith @ Home (http://vibrantfaithathome.org), and look up “Lent.” There are articles, online videos, and resources that help explain the meanings behind the Lenten season. They are also offering an online Lenten series for grandparents. Check it out, and find new ways to celebrate the amazing traditions and stories of Jesus Christ.