Lent Devotions 2014: What Is Lent?

See christ (2)

Faith UMC Lenten Devotion March 2, 2014  

What is Lent?

Scripture: “Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”  Joel 2:13

Reflection: Lent is the 40 day period (not counting Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) in which we prepare our hearts in celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Lent is a special season of prayer and fasting where we return to God, repent of our sins, devote time to prayerful reflection, examine our hearts and our lives, seek and surrender to the leading of the Spirit, remember Christ’s love for us, refocus our commitment to discipleship, and wait for God to renew us as we look to the cross and continue our journey doing what God wants us to do and becoming who God wants us to become.

How is God calling you to come home this Lent?

This Wednesday we will gather as a community of faith to begin our Lenten preparation for Easter. On Ash Wednesday, ashes taken from the burned palm branches of the previous Palm Sunday are placed onto the forehead in the sign of the cross. As we put ashes on our heads we remember all who are mourning and suffering. We remember that we have all sinned and need repentance. We remember Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection and cling to the promises and love of Christ. We remember that we are still called, named, claimed and loved Children of God.

Let the mystery of God unfold this Lent!

 Lent is a time for questions. It is in asking questions that we learn and grow.  When we keep the questions coming, we keep the conversation going…with God and one another.  During Lent we ask God and others for forgiveness, we ask Jesus to reveal himself more fully to us, we ask God how we can grow closer to him, we ask God how we can serve others. We ask God why???

Meet God in your questions this Lent!

Daily Bible reading and prayer, worship, study and fellowship with other Christians, reflecting on the ways you give of your time, talents, and resources, reaching out to others in service and mission for the glory of God are all ways in which we can focus more fully on our spiritual lives during this holy, sacred season. Incorporating these types of spiritual practices into our lives during Lent can help us grow closer to God by cutting out distractions and helping us to refocus our time and talents. Prayerfully consider what God is calling you to set aside or take up as you begin the journey to the cross this Lent.

How will you seek God this Lent?

This Lent we will be exploring the ways Jesus walks with us as we journey through The Story sermon and study series. Through Faith’s Lenten Devotions we will consider ways that we have experienced our 2014 congregational focus, Seeing Christ Being Christ, in our families, church and community. Each week a different ministry team will invite us to reflect as we walk with Jesus and journey through the season of Lent. Be encouraged as you take that first step on your Lenten journey. Walk…Jesus is calling!

How is Jesus calling you to walk with Him?

Prayer:  Gracious and Compassionate God, we pray for a spirit of humility and openness as we begin this season of Lent. Help us to hear and respond to your call to return to you. Help us to know what you are calling us to set aside or take up as we begin this journey to the cross. Help us to take that first step and walk with you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

This Week’s Lenten Scripture Readings: Matthew 17: 1-9, 2 Peter 1: 16-19, Luke 11:1-10, Psalm 51:10-12, Psalm 139:23-24, Daniel 9:3-10, Joel 2:12-13, 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2

Prayer Focus:  Pray for our congregation and community as we enter into the season of Lent.

Family Connection:  Make a Prayer Journal. Decorate a notebook as a family. Use this as a prayer journal during Lent.  You may want to write family prayers, questions, notes of encouragement or record ways that you notice God at work during the season of Lent. How is your family Seeing Christ Being Christ?

Blessings,
Kathy Schmucker
Director of Christian Education & Spiritual Formation
Faith United Methodist Church

For additional Lent resources visit http://faithum.weebly.com/lent.html

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