Having rhythms and seasons can help us; this is why for some, engaging with Lent can be purposeful and provide a time of discipline, particularly in the area of fasting. Ultimately, it will only heighten our anticipation of Easter, and the death and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
City Gaters have been sharing ways to mark the season of Lent, and how we can get involved. Here are some ideas that we have been speaking about for 2018!
- Plastic-less Lent 2018
Would you like to find a way to reduce the amount of plastic in your life? Then join Ruth Valerio and a whole lot of other people in doing a Plastic-Less Lent this year.
- ‘40 Acts’ from Stewardship is always good!
The challenge begins TODAY! Go to – https://www.stewardship.org.uk/
|ACT 1: Target
We all want to live lives of radical, community-transforming generosity. Many of us think it’ll start when we hit some epiphany, have a life-changing event, or hear a thundering voice from heaven. But the good news is that generosity is something you can choose: it doesn’t have to wait. Ask God to show you his generosity, then find one person to target with it
3. Eschew grumbling and embrace positivity!
One of our church members shared that “The Archers characters are being encouraged to eschew grumbling and embrace positivity for Lent!”
In response to this, you might like to look at Steve Backlund’s ‘Negativity Fast + Positivity Feast’
To find out more and sign up for daily encouragements, go to: http://ignitinghope.com/negativityfast/
- Forty Days – Forty Items: an idea that sprung up on Facebook this week!
Try adding other items from around the house to make up your 40!
If you have started any other activities for lent, please let us know about them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a poem by Walter Brueggemann ‘Marked by Ashes’ that will lead you into today… Ash Wednesday.
Marked by Ashes
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day…
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.
By Walter Brueggemann