Lent is the 40 days (not including Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before Easter. Lent is often described as a time of soul searching and an opportunity to go deeper with God. It’s a time for personal reflection that prepares people’s hearts and minds for Good Friday and Easter.
This is a season of great highs and lows. The emotional pendulum swings. From Jesus’ victory over Satan in the wilderness to his kingly recognition by the crowds on Palm Sunday to his trusted followers betraying and denying him and his eventual death on the cross. The Psalms are a book filled with the highs and lows of its writers. Emotions are freely expressed to a God who embraces every aspect of those feelings. Therefore, this Daily Pause for Lent will draw from the Psalms for this 40-day journey.
During the Lenten season, there are three major themes: prayer, fasting (abstaining from something to reduce distractions and focus more on God), giving, or charity.
Prayer during Lent focuses on our need for God’s forgiveness. Only when we are truly forgiven that we can forgive others. It’s also about repenting or turning away from our sins. This attitude of the heart gives us the wonderful opportunity to make room to receive more and more of God’s mercy and love.
Fasting, or giving something up, is a very common practice during Lent. The idea of sacrificing something that is a regular part of life, like eating dessert or scrolling through Facebook, can be a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice. In addition, this frees us up to spend more time in Christ’s presence.
Giving money or time to do something good for others is a way to respond to God’s grace, generosity, and love. It can be giving monetarily to help others or giving your time to meet practical needs. For example, some people spend time volunteering to help another in need.
It is important to note that doing these things will never earn us God’s favor or Jesus’ sacrifice. These are gifts lavished on us by God’s grace, so may we be motivated by the love of God and a sincere desire to meet needs in his name.
The Spiritual Life Development Department will facilitate your prayerful journey through Lent in two ways – engaging in prayer through an audible and written resource. SLD will make both available to you with a prayer “sticky note” for you to download and place somewhere in your home, car or office as a reminder of Jesus’ great sacrifice throughout your day. An audible time of prayer as you journey through the Lenten Season is available to you through SLD’s Facebook or Instagram pages.
For SLD’s Facebook page click here.
For SLD’s Instagram is @USAEastSLD
The prayer of the SLD Department is that these resources will move you to a more grateful heart for the Savior’s sacrifice. May you sense a stronger commitment to his presence which will move you to live your life for the sake of others.