Archive for the ‘8th Sunday’ Category

Get Ready! Here Comes Lent! 3-3-2019

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Let’s Be Nosey and Eavesdrop on a Conversation….
Emily looked at the calendar and sighed “Oh, no!” she moaned. It’s that time of year again. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6th.
“Lent,” I declared optimistically, “is a marvelous opportunity, a wonderful gift, a gracious invitation and God’s blessing of good news.”
“Bah!” Emily responded like an unrepentant Scrooge! And in rapid order, she ticked off her objections to Lent.
“Too restricting! A down-time! Old hat! Sad, dark, depressing…”
“Ooohh,” I said to myself. “Here’s a clear case of gloom and doom rather than an outlook of positive possibilities. I had better call the Spiritual Medics at 911…
Rather than a forbidding fence [holding one back] the 911 spiritual medics said, “Lent is an open door for personal growth.
+It is not a depressing down-time, but God’s gracious invitation to use one’s time for things that really count.
+This Lent is not a “been there, done that” but a clean slate for a new start.
+Not a sad, dark, or bothersome season, but one to move oneself forward for a fuller friendship with God, with self, and with others.
+Lent is a gift to realize who we are and where we are in God’s sight. It is a chance to change; it is a time to recharge our spiritual energies. It is an opportunity for new life.
+Lent is a call to make use of the time before us—it’s not so much something we’ve “got to do” as what we “get to do.”

For Lent to come alive—this year—we need to be specific in our intentions and actions. We cannot vaguely say, “this lent will be different” or “I’m going to be a better Christian. Such intentions sound good, but often they tend to evaporate like a puddle of water beneath a hot sun.
To help us with this, I have a challenge for you—the challenge is to remember this number: 144. In a 24-hour period there are 144 ten-minute slots of time.
For Lent this year, take TWO 10-minute slots of time per day and devote these two ten-minute slots to the things of God.
Let me toss out a few practical suggestions:
Begin each day with a prayerful and thoughtful sign of the cross.
Take time each day to be quiet in God’s presence.
Read a paragraph from scripture. Sit with it—break it open in our daily life.
Get rid of put downs, especially in our family.
Shed false images of yourself. Be honest!
Fast from prejudices, resentment, destructive gossip, unhealthy addictions.
Give up possessiveness of things or of people.
Stop being imprisoned by memories of past injuries.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Be yourself!
Communicate with a friend.
Remember a grace received—give thanks.
Laugh for 10 minutes a day: especially at yourself!
Begin fresh each day.
Appreciate your God-given gifts.
Use your gifts to help someone each day of Lent.
Be a caring and forgiving presence in your family.
Practice loving concern for poor people.
Share God’s love by random acts of kindness.
Care for the earth—recycle!
Turn off the TV! Talk more. (By the age of 50, most Americans have watched over 9 years of TV!)
There are so many more concrete and practical ways to be about the things of God this Lent.
It is time to recharge our spiritual energies.
To have an opportunity for new life—a fuller friendship with God.

A commitment to TWO 10-minute slots a day can change our lives!