Growing in Lent
March is the last month before Easter—so we are still in the season of Lent. During this time I have issued an invitation (challenge?) for people to consciously seek to deepen their knowledge of God through asking questions, tracking down answers to the questions, and embracing the hope of a loving God who the church believes is present and active in the world. This month we will be exploring ways to broaden the horizons of our faith. I will be talking about some of the basic building blocks of growing in faith: love for God, prayer, meditation, study, participation in the church community, and service to the people we encounter outside the walls of the building every week. These never go out of style.
Seeking God and growing in God is a constant part of the developing spiritual life. This requires some discipline—the willingness to be conscious of your faith, choose to get to know God more deeply, and the persistence to begin and nurture habits that will feed your soul. Our faith grows best when we are consciously working on it. Grow or stagnate seem to be the options. What do you do each day to honour your commitment to Christ? Do you read and study passages from the Bible? Do you pray? Do you sing your faith? Do you participate in your church or another type of spiritual group? Do you seek to be of service to the marginalized and hurting? These are the questions I would invite you to consider in the month of March.
We are approaching Easter Sunday. Easter is the day that the gift of God’s love we receive and celebrate at Christmas ACTUALLY gets unwrapped. It is the day we recognize and delight in the fact that God’s life-giving YES is bigger than the world’s deadly NO. Taking some time to actively, consciously look at your faith, explore your understanding of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and renew or learn some faith building practices will open your heart to Easter in a new and deeper way. Try it, you will be delighted!
- Read through one of the gospels (or at least partway through). Keep a notepad beside you to mark down any questions or curiosities that arise as you read. Google them, see what others have to say about them.
- Pray daily—set a time aside each day to pray for knowledge of God’s will for you and the power to carry it out. Do it many times a day. Do you believe that God is still working in people’s lives today? What do you suppose God is asking you to look at or do these days?
- Meditate—take a line from scripture, a hymn, or some other reading and repeat it as you drive, walk, do dishes, shovel snow, or when you wake up in the middle of the night with your head full of “to do's" and “what if's".
- Look around Regina at some of the organizations working to help those who are poor, hungry, homeless, or marginalized. Choose one that interests you, get to know more about it, drop in to visit, find out what kind of help and support they need, let the church know more about them, make a donation, or better yet ask if they have need of volunteers. Bless others to experience real satisfaction.