So, it has begun. I woke up this morning, walked to the kitchen table, opened my Bible and read, thought and prayed. One for one on my Lenten disciplines!
I do this discipline every year hoping that it will spill into my everyday life the rest the year… to say the least, i haven’t mastered it yet. You’re probably a better Christian than I and don’t check your email the second you wake up and look at ESPN right after that. You probably do this particular discipline anyway, but for me it’s a challenge. During Lent i always take on the discipline of “first things.” Or at least that’s what i call it. I commit to reading my Bible and Lenten devotional (of course) and praying every morning before i do anything else, first thing. Seems simple, not the kind of Lenten practice you brag about, but for me it’s really challenging. Oftentimes it’s noon before i remember to read and pray and sometimes i don’t even do it then. Confession! Also a good Lenten practice.
The Good Reverend Daniel Adkinson preached our Ash Wednesday service last night at church and . he . killed it! Preached an amazing sermon. I’m not sure if our church will post his message online but you should watch it if they do.
Daniel got to the heart of Lent in talking about truth telling. And made some great points about the ashes we wear and the disciplines we share.
I mean, it’s all about the heart, right? If you want to brag about what you’re doing and all that you’re reading, you might get a pat on the back and that will be all you get. If you share what you’re giving up or taking on as a way to encourage others or even to keep yourself accountable, you’ll get a lot more! This is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew chapter 6.
I’m also giving up being on my electronic products while in the company of other human beings. Really focusing on being more present with my family and friends. The curse of the iPad and iPhone runs deep in my life. I just love em’ so much! But my hope is that this discipline will draw me closer to my family and friends but also closer to God. Maybe i’ll read the Bible a bit more or my new Richard Rohr book a bit faster!
I thought about giving up flour and sugar. Kinda go old school. That’s why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, because historically people would give up for Lent all the stuff it takes to make pancakes. I decided against that. Mainly because i’m trying to do a little bit of a low / slow carb thing for my heath anyway and decided against double dipping for Lent, not that i’m against that. I’ve done it before.
So Lent is going well. I sense that my disciplines are drawing me deeper into the season and that i’m on a journey that is hard but that is leading me somewhere profound. I hope you sense this as well. And if you don’t, may the Spirit of God, the Spirit that pushed Jesus into the desert, guide you also into the difficult place of Lent so that in 40 days you’ll be more ready to participate in resurrection!
Grace and peace
PS :: I’ve been listening to LOTS of Lenten tunes. Even made a playlist on spotify. I’ll feature my Lenten music soon. But for now go find my spotify playlist — i posted a link on twitter.