Spiritual Practices for Lent: Fast, Pray, Give Away
The Christian Development Committee has a number of opportunities for you to enhance your devotional life and prepare your hearts and minds for the Passion of Christ. It is our hope and prayer that these practices will enrich your spiritual life and your experience of Lent by drawing you closer to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
Read & Reflect Daily Scriptures
to this newsletter, and also available in the foyer at church, is a calendar of Daily Scripture Readings for Lent. These are the Lectionary readings that Pastor Kevin will be preaching on during Lent. New this year, the calendar also includes suggestions for incorporating the traditional Lenten spiritual practices of fasting, praying and giving alms (
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21).
Fridays have been set aside, as is traditional, for fasting. If a full fast is not practical or healthy for you (please consult your doctor if you have a medical condition that may prohibit fasting), consider 'fasting' from a favourite food or activity, something that you will definitely miss. The purpose of fasting is to redirect our attention and longing to Christ rather than to those things that are typically central to our daily lives.
Saturdays have been reserved for acts of giving and service. A few simple suggestions have been made, but you could replace those with things that are more personal for you. The purpose is to intentionally think of others during that time.
Sundays have been designated for Sabbath keeping and prayer. Perhaps this would be a time for you to spend a bit longer with the Bible or with your prayer beads or other prayer practices. Sabbath also includes slowing down and devoting time to things that are important: family, friends, solitude, and rest.
We will be reflecting on the Daily Scriptures on our Facebook Group - Members and Friends of Marshall Memorial. If you are not in our Facebook group but would like to join, please message Richard Hamilton for an invitation.
Read & Reflect Small Groups
We are offering small group opportunities for you to delve more deeply into the Scriptures that Kevin will be preaching on during Lent. Groups will meet in the Gathering Place:
1 pm Wednesday afternoons with Judy VanDuzer
7 pm Wednesday evenings with Pastor Kevin
9 am Friday mornings with Richard Hamilton
No preparation is required for the groups, and everyone is invited and encouraged to attend whenever they are able.
Lenten Prayer Beads
Our prayer focus this year is contemplating the Passion of Christ, using traditional prayers and scriptures. We are distributing prayer beads and prayers to help you order your prayer life during Lent. The beads are a tool to assist you in praying repetitively, which is central to contemplative prayer. The 'movement' of the prayers is very much like walking a labyrinth: entering and exiting through the cross with the Lord's Prayer. The repetition of the events of Christ's Passion - echoing the Good Friday Service our choir is preparing - is intended to soften our hearts toward his sacrifice for us. If prayed daily, you will gradually find your heart opening to the love of God as expressed through Jesus.
A number of people have told us how powerful they found the Lenten Prayer Stones practice from Lent 2019, and so we are offering the stones again as a prayer station in the foyer during Lent. The stones - which have already been sanctified for this purpose - and the prayer suggestions accompanying them will be available for you to pick up during Sunday services throughout Lent. We will not be bringing these stones to the cross on Good Friday - as we did last year - so they will be yours to keep!