Lent is the 40-day period before Easter, and is a season of prayer, fasting, and drawing nearer to God in some way. Many people fast from things that take up too much attention (maybe social media, certain foods, or television). Others take up a new practice or deepen an existing one (perhaps Scripture study, fellowship, or a prayer practice).
Below and in the next few days on our Facebook page, you’ll see some ideas for how you might engage Lent this year. There’s no wrong way to “do” Lent, so what’s drawing your heart this year?
- Take up a creative practice. Perhaps do the Lent Photo-A-Day Challenge, create a visual prayer journal, or write your own psalms.
- Develop a prayer or worship practice that uses your body. Check out Dance Church, do yoga at St. Mark’s Cathedral, or take up contemplative walking (perhaps in the labyrinth at St. Paul’s or Plymouth UCC).
- Does Lent feel obligatory or uninspiring? Consider giving up Lent for Lent and see what grows in you.
- Worship God with your mind by digging into a book of the Bible or some new theology. Some contemporary theologians you might check out include Willie Jennings, James Cone, Shelly Rambo, Soong Chang Rah, or Renita J. Weems.
- Grow or deepen a prayer practice. Do the Ignatian spiritual exercises, pray daily with Pray-as-You-Go, pray the liturgy of the hours (Phyllis Tickle’s guide is a great resource), or memorize Scripture and use that practice and repetition as a prayer.
- Fast in one area so that you can give and promote justice in another. Fasting from certain foods in order to give to the food-insecure is one idea (be safe! know your body’s limits!). You could also try fasting from an idea or practice – cynicism, lying, comparison, social media, consumerism, legalism, etc.
- Meditate on justice for 40 days. The Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Rise Up! series is one helpful guide, or you could volunteer in or otherwise contribute to your local community.