Lent is an odd time for all of us. In the Godly Play tradition it, like Advent, is described as a time of the color purple. Godly Play continues that purple is a royal color and only kings or very wealthy people could wear purple and that it signifies a time of getting ready – during Advent for a king to be born and during Lent for a king to die and be reborn. These are special times to get ready to enter the mysteries of Christmas and Easter.
How do you get your family ready to enter the mystery of Easter? How do you get yourself ready to enter the mystery of Easter? The activities most associated with Lent are almsgiving, prayer and fasting. The idea being that whatever you are fasting from whether it be a food item, a luxury of some sort, or a behavior that takes up a chunk of your time – you use the money, time or mental bandwidth you have freed up to do something for others, to provide alms. [alms: money or food given to people in need] For instance, if you and your family gave up one night of tv, what could you do instead? Pick up trash along the biggest road near your neighborhood? Work one night a week with a charity? Work together as a family to create meals for one of the homeless shelters? Your choice, but that’s the idea. Fasting is not meant as a punishment – it’s meant to free you for service.
Praying. Maybe this is a good time to create a new prayer habit. Maybe you could start listening to a devotional podcast while you drive to work, like Pray As You Go, https://pray-as-you-go.org/. Maybe you could find a devotional coloring book *and color the picture while you meditated on the Scripture. Maybe you could leave a sticky note on the bathroom mirror in your bathroom and your kids bathroom with a reminder to think of three things they were thankful for that day, or that could be one of the things you make sure to talk to each other about each day.
I’ll be sticking other ideas up in this place during Lent, things for adults, things for kids and things for families. In the meantime, we have copies of a beautiful book we are happy to give you Sunday or anything other day you make arrangements with me to get one. It’s called Faithful Families for Lent, Easter and Resurrection, Traci Smith. It’s full of wonderful ideas to help you navigate the mysteries of Lent with your family.
Simple things, done with great love.
Director of Children and Young Families
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