"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord." ~ Isaiah 55:8
Lent is the 40-day (plus Sundays) season before the celebration of Easter. As we travel the way to that celebration of the unquenchable power of life, love, and grace, let's pay attention to our path.
A life of following Jesus is always one of "Seeking God's Ways", but we know we get off-course. We can have our eyes on one signpost when God offers another. We feel certain of our own sense of direction, only to be surprised by the ways of God that turn expectations and assumptions upside down. We can get down on ourselves for insufficient trip planning, and need the reminder that God has not given up the job of holding us and guiding us.
Built into the traditions of Lent is an understanding that we all need opportunities for Confession. We all need invitations to dig a little more deeply and to speak and act a little more truthfully. Lent is a time to repent - a time to turn around. To turn around from the ruts where we get stuck and into more faithful ways of being, as Jesus shows us.
As we experience the season of Lent in weekly worship, consider being intentional about "Seeking God's Ways" with a regular spiritual practice of your own (or try a few. As long as you're seeking God's ways, there's no wrong way to Lent). A few ideas are listed here. Click on the red letters to follow links.
Seeking God's Ways...
...a way of Song
New this year: A YouTube Musical Playlist of songs on the theme. Lots from our hymnal, Voices Together, plus a few extra gems that Pastor Alissa snuck in.
...a way of Reflection
Pick up a print copy of Floriography: A Lenten "Flower Power" Calendar from SALT Project (in the HMC foyer). Pastor Alissa can also send a digital copy of this or past years' devotionals "Break the Chains" and "Poetry of Lent" (Mary Oliver). Also find daily scripture-based devotional reading from Goshen College.
...a way of Prayer
Join a small group on Zoom every Wednesday at 2:30 for prayer and reflection. Find other individual online prayer resources at Common Prayer a liturgy for ordinary radicals, d365, Living Lent Daily, or borrow a book from CommonWord.
...a way of Creativity
Pray in colour with one of these Lenten calendars, adding a prayer on each of the 40 days of Lent (pick these up in the HMC foyer too). Or try these Coloured Pencil Prayers from pastor Joanna Harader.
...a way of Justice
What does God's way of Justice look like in this critical time of Climate emergency? What is the Eco-Mission of the Church for this time? Be inspired by this Taking Action on Climate Change Reading List or by exploring other Creation Care resources at CommonWord.
...a way of all Generations
This at-Home Lent Resource has rituals and simple daily practices, designed with families with young children in mind and matching our worship theme. Also try this Children's Lent Calendar on the theme "journeying toward change".
...a way of Gratitude & Generosity
Keep a Gratitude Journal. Connect your practice of gratitude to a practice of generosity. Follow this Mennonite Giving Calendar from Peace Mennonite Church or make your own.
...a way of a Living Word
Follow the weekly lectionary Scriptures & worship themes in your own way:
Lent 1, March 6: From Security to Generosity
Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Luke 4:1-13; Romans 10:8b-13
Lent 2, March 13: From Fear to Compassion
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Psalm 27; Luke 13:31-35; Philippians 3:17–4:1
Lent 3, March 20: From Earning to Receiving
Isaiah 55:1-9; Psalm 63:1-8; Luke 13:1-9; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13"
Lent 4, March 27: From Exceptionalism to Inclusion
Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 32; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Lent 5, April 3: From Scarcity to Abundance
Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; John 12:1-8; Philippians 3:4b-14
Palm/Passion Sunday, April 10: From Power Over to Power With
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Luke 22:14–23:56; Philippians 2:5-11
Easter, April 17: From Certainty to Openness
Isaiah 65:17-25; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; John 20:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26