Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday (February 14) and ends on Holy Saturday (March 31). Traditionally, Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
In the past I have observed a variety of Lenten practices: media-fasting, different prayer and devotional practices, fasting involving food choices or times when I eat, pray or study, times of silence during the day. Some have been helpful and have led me into a deeper relationship with God and with God’s people. Others I have found were interesting to try, but when Lent was done, I was glad to see my practice end. A few years ago I came across a list on the Sojourners website. It was written by Nadia Bolz- Weber, Pastor at House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado and after some thought, I adapted it to include some ideas of my own. It includes a variety of spiritual practices with which to experiment: different ways of praying, versions of fasting and meditation, ways to practice service and connection with others and with God. I encourage you to follow it and to discern how you can improve your relationship with God and with God’s people. I will.