Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter Sunday. It’s a season of solemn reflection and penitent preparation for Easter. Here are some resources to help you have a fruitful Lenten season, practicing the traditional disciplines of Lent: fasting, prayer, and generosity.
Try the Common Rule
We’ll talk about specific Lenten disciplines below, but one resource you might want to check out for Lent is something we came across recently called The Common Rule: Habits of Love for an Age of Chaos.
It’s a series of 4 daily habits and 4 weekly habits specifically geared to help modern people create a life with enough space for God to shape us in his love. Download the Common Rule For Lent and talk it over with others.
Giving, praying, and fasting
The traditional disciplines of Lent are taken from Matthew 6:1-18: giving to the poor, prayer, and fasting. Here are some ways we’re practicing these together at The Table:
1. Bring food to donate
During Lent we are conducting a food drive for Faith Hope & Love, an organization dedicated to serving people in the Indianapolis area who are at risk of food insecurity by providing them with beneficial relationships, as well as food, supplies, physical and spiritual nourishment, and connection to networked resources within the community.
Look for boxes in the foyer on Sundays to donate non-perishable food (there is a list of foods they need), as well as a way to donate money for purchasing of meat to store in their industrial freezers.
2. Pray every day
Lent is a great time to start or recommit to a regular practice of daily prayer. But, if you’re like most people, it’s hard to know where to start.
During Lent, we are encouraging everyone to try practicing a morning prayer liturgy we learned from Brian Zahnd. It’s a set of prayers that guides us into a way of relating to God that can facilitate genuine encounter with God and steady formation over time.
There’s still room for intercession about the things that you care about, but it places those things within a larger framework that helps place them in their proper setting. It takes about 30 minutes (or up to an hour, if you add time for contemplative prayer).
We encourage everyone to practice fasting in some way during Lent.Read this article about how discern a Lenten fast.
Fasting is one of the most scandalous Lenten disciplines to modern Americans, because we’re immersed in a culture where indulging desire is assumed to be the healthiest thing to do in most situations.
So discern your own fast, but remember that Sundays are feast days – it’s like a mini-Easter, even during Lent!