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Season of Lent

Ash Wednesday | Lent 1 | Lent 2 | Lent 3 | Lent 4 | Lent 5

Six Weeks of Daily Lenten Reflections, plus Easter week (by Nail-Bender)
 





  

Lent Greeting for your Newsletter:

The Season of Devotion And Spiritual Refreshment
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

Traditionally Lent has been understood to be a time for repentance, prayer and fasting. Many Christian believers associate Lent with stern discipline, self-abasement, and giving up your favorite foods (or food altogether).  Can Lent be rescued from such a Stoic association?  Is this really what Lent was supposed to be like in the eyes of the founder of the Christian faith--Jesus of Nazareth?

A short visit to the history books shows that the Christian believer is invited to follow Jesusí example of withdrawal into the "wilderness" for forty days during Lent. Just as Jesus fasted in the wilderness, so we are encouraged to fast during this season.  According to document fragments such as the Didache' we know that "Lent" originated in the early second-century of the Christian community.  It was then primarily a preparation time for Easter--a time for repentance, recommitment, and a time for instructing and preparing proselytes (new believers) in the faith to prepare them for baptism.

But who can get excited about Lent if the association is tied to the Stoic ideals?  Is there another way to understand and (dare I say it?) to celebrate the season of Lent?

I think so.  With a little creativity and imagination, the season of Lent can be celebrated with our natural and spiritual senses in a way that prepares us for the grand celebration of Easter Sunday.  Lent offers us many opportunities to penetrate the shallowness of life and gain deeper understandings of Christ, of our own faith, and of relationships.

The season of Lent is also about finding true and lasting joys.  A joy that can be present even in situations of suffering losses.  The disciplines of Lent do sound rigorous, but sometimes we need to abstain from the shallow entertainment in life to be able to get to the true happiness.

That true happiness can be found in the exciting (even adventurous?) purpose God has for our lives, in the loving and caring relationship between God and us and between brothers and sisters in Christ.

So, this season, I invite you to come to church during Lent, expecting to find answers you may have never expected to get, to find joy in all--even hard--situations, and possibilities for your life you never thought possible!

In this season of Lent 2005, let us celebrate our awesome God, our church family, and our faith in Christ.
 

Some Humor for the Lenten Journey

Fish for Lent
John Smith was the only Protestant to move into a large Catholic neighborhood.  On the first Friday of Lent, John was outside grilling a big juicy steak on his grill.  Meanwhile, all of his neighbors were eating cold tuna fish for supper.   This went on each Friday of Lent.  On the last Friday of Lent, the neighborhood men got together and decided that something had to be done about John.  He was tempting them to eat meat each Friday of Lent, and they couldn't take it anymore.  They decided to try and convert John to become a Catholic.  They went over and talked to him and were so happy that he decided to join all of his neighbors and become a Catholic.  They took him to Church, and the Priest sprinkled some water over him, and said, "You were born a Baptist, you were raised a Baptist, and now you are Catholic."  The men were so relieved, now their biggest Lenten temptation was resolved.

The next year's Lenten season rolled around.  The first Friday of Lent came, and just at supper time, when the neighborhood was setting down to their tuna fish dinner, came the wafting smell of steak cooking on a grill.  The neighborhood men could not believe their noses!  WHAT WAS GOING ON?   They called each other up and decided to meet over in John's yard to see if he had forgotten it was the first Friday of Lent.  The group arrived just in time to see John standing over his grill with a small pitcher of water.  He was sprinkling some water over his steak on the grill, saying, "You were born a cow, you were raised a cow, and now you are a fish."

Getting Ready for Lent
If you can start the day without caffeine or pills,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

If you can do all these things,
Then you are probably the family dog.

From dust you are taken..to dust you shall return
A little boy came home from Sunday School and went into his room to change his clothes. When he emerged he asked his mother, "Is it true we come from dust?"     "Yes dear," replied mother.  "Is it true that when we die we go back to the dust?"  "Yes dear, that's right."  The little boy ran into his room and came out all excited, "Mom, I just looked under my bed and there's someone either coming or going!"
 

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Check out our special DPS Lent Resource: Six Weeks of Daily Lenten Reflections, plus Easter week (by Nail-Bender)