Bellport United Methodist Church
Monday, April 24, 2017
He who abides in love, abides in God.
Whoever would be great among you, must be your servant. ~ Mark 10:43
10 Ideas for a More Meaningful Lent
Maybe we can take a look at this list and do what we feel invited to do during Lent.
Come to church to worship on Sundays during Lent and come to Holy Thursday and Good Friday Service before we hear the message of Christ’s resurrection and celebrate Easter.
During Lent we remember that we are part of the entire human family, making it a great time and opportunity to serve others.
On Sunday, March 12, we will bring a meal to a church in Westhampton to serve homeless people and to eat with them. Join us by coming along with us or in making a soup, salad or deserts.
Our Sunday School children are making Easter baskets to be delivered to those who are homebound, bringing them the message of Easter and letting them know that God cares.
We might serve our neighbors on the block or someone at school or at our workplace by offering an extra help.
Our Outreach team decided to have UMCOR Sunday, formerly One Great Hour of Sharing, again this year, to support the ministry of United Methodist Committee on Relief. A special offering will be taken on March 26. Together as the body of Christ, we reach children, families and communities who have experienced devastation in the wake of disaster.
Our generosity can also be creative. We may leave our server an above-and-beyond tip or help someone in our community with a financial gift.
“Giving something up for Lent” is a common practice for many Christians. Often we give up a favorite food or try to kick a bad habit during Lent. We may abstain from social media a bit and try to have more time to be with our family, friends and neighbors face to face. What would you like to abstain from this Lent?
5. Have a devotion time or Pray your day
If you have lost your devotion time for reading the Bible and devotional writing and spending time with God, please start it again. Upper Room Devotionals are placed in the Gathering Area and Welcome Area.
Or pray your day. Pray for the drivers of the vehicles that pass by you, your co-workers, lunch monitors and bus drivers. If you walk in the town, pray for the people who work in the stores. Lift up the trash collector and the mail carrier. Pray as we email or Facebook post to an old friend. Offer sentence prayers throughout the day for those whom we meet and encounter.
6. Make something
Some of us reflect and pray best when our hands are busy, making Lent a great time to create something. We may go back in the workshop and spend time cutting, sanding, and gluing or sit at a piano and let the music flow. We may take out the paints, glue, clay and other supplies to create a work of art. We may sew, knit and crochet something. As we create, let us be mindful of our Creator who longs to be in relationship with us and who is still creating us as God’s vessels.
7. Be Still
Out of our busy schedule, let’s try to have time to be still by pausing before the presence of God. You may light a candle, sit outside, smell the air, listen for the birds and experience the still small voice of God.
8. Clean Something
Lent can be a good time to get a jump on our spring cleaning or de-clutter our house or room. We may spend an hour a week with a junk drawer, a cluttered cabinet or organize the files on our hard drive. We may ask ourselves what we still need and what we no longer need, what we want to keep and what we don’t really want to keep. As we remove things we no longer need and reorder those we do, we may apply it to our lives too. What do we want to remove from our schedule or a to-do-list?
What are the most important in our lives? How are we attending to them?
9. Take better care of our bodies
God gave us our bodies as a gift. Let’s love them and be kind and gentle to them. During Lent we may try to take a walk, do some exercise, eat better and breathe deeper. If we haven’t been to a physical check-up at a doctor’s office for a while or are long overdue, let’s do it as a way of taking good care of God’s gift to us.
10. Forgive and seek forgiveness
As we pray for God’s grace, let’s also seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. Lent gives us an opportunity to go to those we have hurt.
It also gives us another opportunity to forgive another. Jesus taught us to pray. “Forgive us for the ways we have wronged you, just as we also forgive those who have wronged us.” (Mat. 6:12) Maybe while we remove from our house or room what we no longer need, we may ask God to remove a grudge from us. If appropriate, let the person know we forgive them. Let’s remember that forgiveness has much more to do about us than the one who offended us.
As a reminder that we are in Lent and that God’s invitation to observe Lent is with us, please take a nail in the basket and please have it close to you—in your pocket, handbag or a purse or leave it in a place where you see it every day. Hold it from time to time and ask where you are in your Lenten journey.
May God bless your Lent.