Lent - The Beginning of a Journey

Today is Ash Wednesday.

This is the day that signifies the beginning of the forty day journey toward the cross for Christians around the globe. This is the day that begins the Season of Lent.

Lent is a journey. It is a journey of repentance. It is a journey of penitence. It is a journey outward. It is a journey inward.

Throughout history, Christians have marked the season of Lent by fasting - abstaining from something in order to help set this season apart from others. The fast has taken on many forms throughout the centuries. In many cultures, including ours, the fast has become the tradition of "giving something up for Lent". This "fast" is often used as a symbol of the penitence and repentance of the season. The fast of the season has been and continues to be a helpful spiritual discipline to countless Christians around the world (If you decide to practice this spiritual discipline during the Season of Lent, please make sure that you use a resource like those listed below to help you do it in the most healthy and helpful manner).

The fast is not the only spiritual exercise that can prove to be meaningful and transformative during this holy season. I would encourage you to investigate adding one of the many other spiritual disciplines to your practice of faith during these forty days of Lent. Perhaps you might "try on" a different discipline each week to see which one or ones prove most formative for you.

- Contemplation
- Worship 
- Prayer
- Meditation
- Hospitality
- Giving
- Simplicity
- Solitude
- Study

There are many resources available to assist you if you decide to add a new spiritual discipline to your practice of faith during your Lenten Journey this year.

Dorothy Bass' On Our Way or Practicing Our Faith;
Craig Dykstra's Growing in the Life of Faith;
Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline;
Marjorie Thompson's Soul Feast.
This online resource may also prove to be helpful - http://www.practicingourfaith.org/

It is my prayer that during this Season of Lent we may each have our eyes, our ears, our hearts, our minds, our mouths, our hands, our feet, and our spirits turned and tuned to the workings of God in the Christ in our lives and world.

I would love to hear what you are discovering along the way. If you feel comfortable posting about your journey, I am sure your words and experiences would be helpful to others.

God's peace.


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