March is the month that either comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion or come is like a lion and goes out like a lamb. This year no matter how March begins, it will go out like a lamb. We begin in Lent and by the end we have entered Holy Week. Therefore, March will go out like a Lamb.
We will continue our journey of Lent, looking deeply into our faith journey, discovering our strengths and limitations as we prepare to receive the gift of Easter morning.
Discipline is often an unpleasant word. We never liked it as children, adults don’t like it much better. Yet discipline is exactly the focus of Lent and this final month of the journey. On the first Sunday of Lent, I gave 6 challenges to the congregation for Lent. These challenges could also be seen as disciplines, practices that can strengthen our faith life. Take a look at them and see if they might help you.
- One day a week go without accessing any social media platforms. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, etc. It can be amazing how much time is spent reading the feeds of people we know, think we know, and checking out cat videos. Invest that time each day doing something else, such as talking to people directly.
- One day a week substitute watching 30 minutes of news with prayer for a list of people, places and events that need prayerful support. We can become addicted to the idea that we “need” to stay informed. Most of our news is opinion and not details that help us understand and come to a course of action. Let us instead pray for leaders (local and global), prayer for healthcare workers, pray for educators, pray for whoever and whatever comes to your mind and heart.
- Invest 15 minutes more per day reading the Bible or something that helps you understand and learn something about our faith. If you don’t invest 15 minutes reading the Bible, how can you understand our faith?
- Pick 1 day each week to intentionally recognize and greet the people you encounter during the day. This includes the people you know as well as the people you encounter during the day such as store clerks, office workers, etc. Speak to them with warmth and joy.
- Visit someone who does not get out of the homes or are in care facilities.
- Create a Sabbath hour each week. We are supposed to have a day of Sabbath, but in reality, most of us need to start with a single hour and gradually add more time until we finally achieve the Commandment to honor the Sabbath. Take that hour and reflect upon God’s creation all around you. Listen to the bird and the wind rustling the leaves, watch the clouds, feel the grass and the earth. Honor all that God created.
These are the challenges that might help you during the final weeks of Lent. May you be blessed in self-discovery and arrive at the empty tomb filled with joy.