I hope that many of you will attend one of our Ash Wednesday services, and let it be for you a ritual beginning of the season of Lent. In other words, let the service be a ritual beginning to a more mature and deeper Christian faith. I hope as well that all of you will find a way to keep Lent in a way that fits your life.
Lent is the spring time, the planting time, of the Christian faith. Keeping Lent means planting yourself in the Christian life. Do this in a way that fits your unique, blessed interests and needs. For example, if you have always wanted to ______________, and that is a good and life-affirming thing to do, use the six weeks of Lent to begin __________________.
· Read the Bible or read through the Small Catechism (There are copies on the table in the narthex.)
· Read a book, maybe a classic, that you have been meaning to read for some time.
· Begin a hobby that has attracted you for years.
· For the weeks of Lent avoid foods or beverages that distress you or compromise your activities—that make you fat or make you fall asleep, for example.
· For the weeks of Lent make some other change in your diet that might help you live a healthier life or be a better resident of the planet: more local vegetables, for example.
· Take time every day to speak to your children or to your parents.
· Reach out to old friends.
· Read aloud to someone in your house.
· Take a walk every day.
· Begin a service discipline or a prayer discipline.
· Make a special Lenten offering to the church.
Your conscience has probably already told you what your Lenten discipline might be. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Make this Lent your season of spiritual growth; devise some marking of the season that makes a difference in your life. Come to church every Sunday morning—or if you are away, find a church to attend—and renew your commitment to your Lenten discipline.