When you’ve been ‘doing Lent’ for a while, things can get complicated.
Shall I give something up for 40 days? Facebook? Twitter? Chocolate? Coffee? Been there, done that, got the withdrawal symptoms. (and that was just Facebook…)
So what about taking something up? Do a good deed each day? Read a chunk of the Bible? Get up at 5am to say Morning Prayer? (that last one has never actually happened but hey, Wesley did it so it’s worth considering..)
The third option which someone mentioned once is to do nothing because “the extra things you do for Lent are your Lenten discipline” – ie services, Lent groups and the like.
There are a raft of different schemes for Lent this year. Particular good ideas include
http://www.notbusy.co.uk – the core idea is to spend a limited time each day – between 10 and 30 minutes – doing absolutely nothing, just letting time pass. Based on an original idea by Stephen Cherry and designed for those who like (or have) to rush around a lot.
Young Methodists are offering people the chance to sign up for prayer text messages over the Lent period. The prayer texts have been written by children and young people from across the Methodist Church.. Mobile phone users can sign up to receive daily prayers by texting LENT on 66777 charged at the standard network rate. The texts will be free to receive.
Count Your Blessings with Christian Aid – a free calendar or phone app with bite sized reflections for each day of Lent http://www.christianaid.org.uk/getinvolved/lent-2013/count-your-blessings
Daily Bible Readings and accompanying thoughts for every day from the Methodist Church website http://www.methodist.org.uk/prayer-and-worship/a-word-in-time
I’ve decided this year to go with an idea which seeks to incorporate Bible reading, prayer and action into the 40 days of Lent. Nadia Bolz-Weber leads The House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She’s a frequent Greenbelt speaker and a radical voice.
The church’s 40-day plan is simple. Some days will look challenging and then feel simple. Other days look simple and will end up being challenging. It feels like a good combination of the spiritual and the practical however, so I’ll let you know how I get on…
The 40-day plan is here if you want a look: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2012/02/house-for-all-sinners-and-saints-40-ideas-for-keeping-a-holy-lent/
(Thanks to Wendy Tucker for the original link)