Did you know that two days ago, we stepped right from a pink-and-red, candy-coated Valentine’s Day into a brand-new church season? We crossed off the calendar and began Lent, the 40-day season that leads us straight into Easter glory. During this somber season, many churches pack up their alleluias and save them for Easter Sunday as we remember the Passion of our Christ, His journey to the cross, and the 40 days He spent in the desert (which you can read all about in Matthew 4.)
Often during Lent, people will include some kind of meaningful spiritual discipline, either adding in a practice or removing a distraction, with the purpose of drawing closer to the Lord and hearing from Him more clearly. This is a great article from our friends at DaySpring that elaborates on the history and practice of Lent.
Here at (in)courage, we are a beautiful community of diverse voices and faith backgrounds, and we know everyone recognizes this season in a different way. We’d like to come alongside you and walk through these coming weeks, together. These are the ways we are preparing our hearts for the journey to Easter, and to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
First off, during this season of Lent we’re reading our Bibles. We’re praying for God to move through His Word in a fresh and new way, bringing wisdom and insight to our hearts. And if we have kids at home, we’re helping them to do the same with our favorite Bible for children.
We’re gathering with friends, bringing in light and love via simple gatherings held right in between laundry piles and dust bunnies. Together with our friends, we’re diving deep into God’s Word, saving a seat for even one more around our table. We’re wearing our faith – and one of our favorite necklaces EVER, because 1) rose gold, 2) peace, 3) we get to gift one to a friend. And we’re decorating our homes with God’s Word — this tray is one of our favorite ways to display the Word right there in our kitchens and family rooms and hallways.
We’re getting our hearts ready in the same way we ready our homes.
We’re being still, listening for His small voice in quiet whispered tones. We’re digging into the Word in new and creative ways, using tools like this coloring book to remember that which is lovely, and pure, and good. We’re being more intentional with our quiet time, letting Him speak through the stories of His daughters, and taking the time to write down what we’ve learned so that when we’re in a desert of our own, we can find a cool stream.
We’re practicing the disciplines of addition (adding in study, narrowing our focus, and gathering together), and of subtraction (removing that which distracts us from His heart.) And if doing one more thing is just too much — no shame if that’s where you are, friend — we’re drinking coffee from a mug that reminds us of our strength in Him while checking our email for daily Lenten devotions from DaySpring!
DaySpring has 40 days of hope-filled messages and images, ready and waiting for you to enjoy. Just read their description of the series:
In Christ Jesus, we are courageous, confident and hopeful. During this series leading up to Easter, we will explore how to fully trust in Him, surrendering our whole lives — every worry, every decision, every detail — and live fearlessly, knowing that He holds us in His loving arms.
We know you’ll be inspired and uplifted by each email they send — sign up today!
During this season of Lent, this 40-day journey to the cross and the resurrection, we will be diving in deeper. We would love to hear from you — if at all, how will you be observing Lent during 2018?