Lint or Lent? How to Reconnect to the Experience
When you hear the word Lent what comes to mind? Lint or Lent? I’ve lived where Lent was what you found in your dryer or you belly button, not a season of the church year. And I’ve lived where every fast food sign was advertising fish sandwiches as a “Lenten Special” on Fridays.
Maybe you’ve not really practiced Lent or experienced the season of Lent before. Or maybe you grew up where hearing the word Lent meant going to a lot more church services and giving up something you really liked because you were supposed to. You didn’t do it out of love or in order to draw closer to God, but just because you had to.
Lint or Lent? Consider where you are on the spectrum—and consider where you’d like to be by the time you reach Easter Sunday. The beautiful thing about Lent is that it gives us a long period of time to engage and respond to what God is up to in our lives. We have more than 40 days in the season of Lent to get our hearts and minds ready to experience the gift of the resurrection.
But too often, Lent is just a word we hear and not a practice.
How can we practice Lent this year? How can we really grow closer to God between now and Easter Sunday? To reconnect with the experience, I think we have to begin with our hearts.
And since we just had Valentine’s Day, there are lots of hearts around to remind us that our hearts need to be open and ready to receive from Jesus. How is your heart today? Anything weighing you down? Are you filled with love and expectation or is your heart feeling broken and in need of mending? Where would you like your heart to be? Where would you like your relationship with Jesus to be by the time Easter Sunday rolls around? Take some time today to be intentional with how you can fall more in love with Jesus this Lenten season.
Here’s a prayer station idea you can do with your community, family or on your own as you begin Lent.
PREPARE YOUR HEART for the JOURNEY
Large bowl of water
Basket with small sponges (enough for each person in your group)
Basket with rocks (enough for each person in your group)
Bowl of sand
Roll of paper towels
Read the following:
We have the opportunity to go on an amazing Journey with Jesus over the next 40 days. But before anyone starts a journey, they must get ready, they must prepare. How are you feeling today? How is your heart?
Is it soft like a sponge ready to absorb more of God? Is it more like a rock feeling heavy and weighted down? Is it like dry sand, a desert in need of water, in need of refreshment?
As you begin your journey, choose a symbol of where your heart is today:
SPONGE = wanting to absorb more of God
ROCK = feeling weighed down, need help
HANDFUL OF SAND = feeling dry, in need of refreshment
Put your symbol in the water, and read:
JESUS is the living water… Allow Him to refresh you! Allow Jesus to prepare your heart for the journey of Lent. Allow Him to heal you. Allow Jesus to forgive you.
He knows and loves you just as you are!
Lilly Lewin is a long time friend of YS and has spent a lot of her time curating the sanctuary spaces at NYWC. She’s an author, a creater of worship spaces, and prayer experiences for churches, retreats, and various workshops. Visit her blog HERE.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.