Lent has begun with Ash Wednesday yesterday and I have been thinking a great deal about what folks do during the season of Lent. The symbolism behind Ash Wednesday is that it represents the 40 days of fasting that Jesus practiced in the wilderness. Ash Wednesday is the “kick off” to Lent where Christians are reminded to repent and believe in the gospel and receive the mark of the cross on their foreheads from the ashes of last year’s Easter palm branches. My focus during Lent is not on the fasting and the self denial but more on the refocusing and giving of myself.
This year I thought I would share a few of the things that I am going to try to be intentional about doing during Lent. While it may seem a bit ambitious to do each one every day I have decided to give myself grace if I do not do every single thing every single day during this journey to Easter.
I have written letters of gratitude and thanksgiving for the past 6 years during this time. 40 letters seems a lot, doesn’t it? But it really isn’t. One year I made each and every card. This year I decided that might not be feasible so I found some pretty notecards and they will be the perfect vehicles to carry my thoughts and words to those who have made an impact in my life.
I sat next to the CEO of the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation on a flight a few years ago. Since then I have followed them on social media and they offer a great Lenten Calendar each year. I got mine in the mail but you can download your own copy by clicking here free of charge.
Another thing that I have done a few years is to post a picture a day on social media using the Rethink Church Photo A Day calendar. It is fun to find the perfect picture to go with the word. Today’s word is Tempted and this is what I came up with for today.
One of our college friends, Bill McKell, is a great storyteller and author. He offers several devotionals for download to use during this time. I have chosen to use his Take Heart devotional and you can find it by clicking here.
My friend Beth and I were chatting about Lent the other day and she has been contemplating doing a gratitude journal. I think that is a great idea and I have done gratitude journals several times but not really gotten into a long term habit. I have the perfect journal that I bought awhile ago at Theophilus that I am going to finally start using during Lent. I think it will be used for a lot of things but I intend to use it for gratitude as well.
I hope to have a meaningful Lent this year. What are your traditions? I would really love to read what you do or don’t do during Lent. Please share in the comments and remember that each comment means a 50 cent donation to our Comments for a Cause – Folds of Honor.