Last night I went to church and got the imposition of ashes on my forehead. For some reason this is one worship service that I just will not miss every year if possible. Last night’s service was presented to us by our confirmation class and while at times it may have been difficult to hear the nervous teens read their lines the emphasis was the same as every year—focus on the period before Easter by fasting, repentance, spiritual discipline and moderation.
I have a couple of on line devotionals that I am going to be doing during Lent this year. I usually start out really well in this direction but as the time goes on I seem to get re-directed and miss some days. I am going to really try to be more disciplined this year and hopefully the daily emails will be great jumping off points for my own spiritual discipline.
Today my email from World Vision tells me to list my luxuries in one of the following areas:
And to not just stop with 5 or so but to actually list 20-40 things that are luxuries and keep them in a visible place during Lent. The devotional further challenges me to list on the back of that page areas where I am being challenged to be uncomfortable…that one may take some prayer time, I think.
Many years I have “given” something up. I have given up sweet tea, chocolate, desserts, and snacks to name a few. Several years I have given up meals and fasted and given that money saved to some organization. In recent years I have been more on the service bent and have used my gift of service to actually “do” something for others by being really intentional and looking for opportunities to serve.
I still have not really decided what I am going to “do” for Lent this year but I know that I will grow as a result of whatever I choose to do. I would love to hear what other Christians are doing or not doing this year during Lent so please leave me a comment and let me know what your plans are. I may need my readers to hold me accountable so that is kind of the reason for this post too. Once it is written and out there I have to do it, right? Please let me know your thoughts and if Lent is an important time to you or if you focus on something particular!!! Will look forward to all the comments!Lent 2011: A Franciscan Blessing from World Vision ACT:S on Vimeo.