Many folks have a tradition – based either from their families of origin or from past faith communities – of “giving something up” for Lent. This is a worthy tradition. Such a practice is rooted in one of the traditional focuses of Lent: Fasting.
Others choose to “add something” for Lent, volunteering with a local non-profit, reading to children in an after-school program at the library, or collecting canned goods to donate. This is a worthy practice, too, and is rooted in the traditional focus of Service.
And of course, Lent is a time of intentionally reflective Prayer, wherein we walk with Jesus on a path that leads to Jerusalem… on a path that leads to the celebratory praises and parades of Palm Sunday… on a path that, for him, ultimately leads to the cross.
Fasting. Service. Prayer. These are Lenten practices held throughout the history of the church which continue to guide the reflections of Christians today.
I’d like to invite you and your families to participate in a Lenten discipline this year, beginning on Ash Wednesday (February 18) through Easter Sunday (April 5).
At the bottom of this post is a link to a calendar filled with activities for your families to work on together, guiding us through a rotation of fasting, service, and prayer. I would encourage you to incorporate these simple practices into your family life as together we seek to claim our calling to be disciples.
Be creative with the activities! Modify them for whatever works best for your family! There are ways to incorporate virtually every member of the family – from the youngest of children to the oldest generation.
If you’d like to add a social/sharing element to your Lenten practices, please also feel free to snap pictures of some or even all of them and share the photos via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). I'm encouraging folks from St. Giles to use #smilestgiles as a hashtag (if you don't know what a hashtag is, ask one of the youth!
I look forward to walking this Lenten road alongside you.
I'm a husband, father, news junkie, theatre lover, enneagram enthusiast, bi advocate, amateur foodie, wannabe barista, and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
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