RSVP to the Invitation to a Holy Lent
We’re two weeks into the Lenten season, a third of the way through to the “Allelulia” shouts of Easter morning. On Ash Wednesday our priests invited us to a Holy Lent. Did you RSVP?
Are you finding a rhythm in your sacrifice? Have you forgotten or slipped up in your fast? If so, know you are in good company. I’ve had a few “oops—I gave that up” moments. No matter how you started, remember that this season is precisely about coming to grips with our shortcomings and pointing us to the perfect provision of Christ.
So often we do the same things the same way and find ourselves in the same ruts with the same disappointments. That’s an irritating amount of sameness. Observing and engaging the liturgical seasons have given me a way to push back on the monotonous march of sameness.
Although the Lord certainly calls for us to do our good works in secret, (prayer closets, ambidextrous giving, and fresh-faced fasting references come to mind), it can be helpful to know we are working out our salvation in community—with others on the same journey with the same goal.
So two weeks into Lent, it’s a good time to remember–Restoration is observing this season together.
This could be a season where God could be giving you a chance to be vulnerable in your faith walk in new ways. You could be surprised at His provision from unexpected people. He may awaken you to needs in unexpected places. Whatever he is teaching you, share it!
As roommates, we (Megan and Erica) have fasted according to the traditional Byzantine Great Fast . That spiritual exercise took a lot of intentional effort—and boy did we look forward to the Easter Vigil!
Now that we don’t live together, we’ve made our fast choices independently this year. It was so much easier…together–we shared groceries and made food choices together. This year, I’ve been keenly aware of the gift of sharing my Lenten fast with a fellow sojourner.
As a community, may we find sacred space together. A few suggestions for sharing the benefits of a Holy Lent:
- Chat with someone in your small group about your favorite bits from the Henri Nouwen devotional that week
- Pray with your roommates or spouse, giving thanks for how God is meeting you in newfound sacred spaces
- Reference the Barnabas Aid Lenten Prayer Guideto talk to your children about the plight of the Persecuted Church and pray together for their relief (pick one up in the back of the sanctuary).
- Ask a friend to keep you accountable to a financial gift that the Lord may be challenging you to give
There are so many other ways to experience sacred space together. When you find it, what does this sacred space look like? How are you sharing that space with the Restoration family? With the curious?
We are called to be secretly steadfast in our spiritual disciplines; YET, the effects and lessons are meant to be shared!
“So, you’re planning for a Holy Lent, too? …Wanna carpool?”
– Erica Chapman