During Lent,  many of us take on Lenten Disciplines, which can sound like one is taking on a “difficult and challenging spiritual task” designed to make one “right” with God. Traditionally,  Christians have given up something for Lent as their discipline which can be “difficult and challenging.” On the other hand, if one gives up a habit that’s not healthy  for one’s body, mind, and soul and then develops a new habit that is, that can actually be freeing and “renewing.” For example: what if one decided to give up sweets or sugar for Lent and then eat more vegetables every day? Probably most of us would agree that that could lead to more healthful living and a greater sense of well-being. I’ve also found that when one gives something up that has become a focus in our lives, it can encourage us to re-focus on our         relationship with God, which is fundamental to our faith journey. Another example: What if a person gave up TV or Facebook or another habit that’s become an obsession? How would we use the time to re-new ourselves spiritually?  Giving up something can be a challenging exercise during Lent, but it can also be a “discipline” that leads to “renewal”.

It’s been my philosophy that “giving up” during Lent can lead to “taking on” a spiritual discipline that can lead to a  renewed sense of well-being and purpose. On Ash Wednesday – as we have done for years – we will gather to reflect together (younger and older) on our relationship with God and our walk with Jesus the Christ. We’ll receive the imposition of the ashes to remind us that of our humanity and that our lives are dependent on God. We’ll share communion to remind us that we are followers of Jesus and One in Christ. And we’ll “give up” and “take on” as we claim our Lenten Discipline’s individually and together.  Please join us on Ash Wednesday and plan to take on Spiritual Discipline during Lent that is renewing.

On the Journey of Faith with You,

Pastor Tim