We are getting ready for Lent - the 6 weeks- 40 days before Easter. It is a time of preparation for our remembrance of Holy Week, Crucifixion and Resurrection.
So this is a time of preparation for the preparation.
And this is how
1. Planning Ash Wednesday service. Ash Wednesday is one of my favorite services of the year. It is intimate, meditative and always really meaningful. For the third year in a row we will do a "Taize" service which involves repitition in music, silence and scripture. In the middle of the service we will have time for people to write a prayer of confession, make a commitment to a Lenten discipline, receive the imposition of ashes and take communion. The service is planned and now I am putting people together to read and to participate.
2. Lenten Disciplines - are acts of disengagement (fasting) and engagement (commitment). The fasting has two parts to it - we make time for God in fasting from some usual activities (TV, computer, etc) and we also remember God in sacrificial fasting (from certain foods or drinks perhaps) The engaging is making a commitment to doing something that draws us nearer to God. We can engage in committing ourselves to 15 minutes of silence or journaling or scripture every day. We can also engage in committing ourselves to an act of service every week. We can also commit ourselves to engaging in worship or a music in some form. We believe that God is always with us but we can cooperate in the relationship by removing blocks or doing things that help us to remember God's presence.
3. Sermon Series - The Lord's Prayer. I love to do series in preaching especially around a season like Lent. This year I am going to preach through the Lord's prayer. I have three books to read to guide me in this as well as lots of other resources. I have preached on the Lord's Prayer before and found it to be really enriching for me and has helped keep that prayer very fresh as we pray it every week (well actually 3 times a week for me!!!)
4. Small Group - I am getting ready to lead a small group on Sunday mornings on the Lord's Prayer. I love small groups and the opportunity to meet with people around prayer for a finite amount of time. We always get closer to each other as we learn our stories. I still have to prepare for this.
So, Lent is coming - which means Spring is coming - which means Easter is coming.
All of this is good!
I am getting ready!