Lent: Coming Home to God

Lent

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

Last week we began our Lenten journey with our Ash Wednesday worship service.  One of the hymns from our Ash Wednesday service was Softly and Tenderly written by Will L. Thompson.  The words of this beautiful hymn are still echoing in my head and heart as I spend some time reflecting on my spiritual life during this first season of Lent. God is speaking into my heart and also to yours.  God says come home!

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
 
Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!”

Lent is the forty day period (not counting Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) in which we are called to open our hearts  before God for honest examination in a spirit of confession, penance, & redirection as we approach the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The word Lent comes from an old word for spring. Lent is a season of renewal. It’s a time of rebirth in nature and spiritual rebirth within ourselves as we renew our commitment to God and strengthen our faith.  Lent is a time to come home to God.

Lent is a time of fasting and preparation; a reminder of Jesus’ time of fasting and temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-14).  Fasting and giving up something can be a part of Lenten preparations, but so can taking on some things.

This Lent our church will be focusing on means of grace, spiritual practices that help us make room in our lives for God.

How is God calling you to come home?

In what ways might you focus on your relationship with Jesus 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 and experience grace 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. Devoting more time to God and His work can help build and renew our faith. Prayerfully consider what God is calling you to set aside or take up as you begin the journey to the cross this Lent.  How is God calling you to return to Him this Lent?

Lent Heart 2This past Sunday, during the Children’s Sermon, our children were given a heart on which they could write or draw pictures of how they will spend time with God during the season of Lent.  Click here (Lent Heart) to download a printable copy of this heart for your use.  Prayerfully consider how you will connect with God through prayer, Bible study, helping others, worship, acts of grace, joining a small group, exploring a new spiritual practice, etc. Keep the heart where you can see it often to remind you to spend time with God and reflect on how He is calling you to come home to Him this Lent!

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

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About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
This entry was posted in Discipleship, Lent, Spiritual Practices and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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