Where can I get ideas for Lent?
Lent’s rising popularity has left some people a little confused when looking at ideas for Lent. They want to participate and experience the spiritual journey, stretching back 2,000 years into the past, but they find themselves at a loss for where to start.
Surveys about American spirituality and self-expression put the U.S at a unique crossroads, when compared to other countries in the world. Research by University of Michigan sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker shows that Americans are very religious, so much so that we sometimes resemble countries like Iran. At the same time, Americans are deeply concerned about individual self-expression. This powerful and sometimes eclectic mix requires us to think a little differently when approaching spirituality.
Lent goes deeper than just giving something up. While ideally, whatever you give up: be it soda, Facebook or hitting-the-snooze-button, is given up both as a means of self-improvement but also as a means of understanding and connecting with Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem all those years ago.
What kind of journey am I going on here?
Here’s some ideas for Lent you may have not considered:
- Face something you have ignored previously. Like when Jesus turned to the two blind men while passing through Jericho to grant them sight and mercy, consider something in your life that you have neglected. Not just your laundry, but perhaps a relationship that has fallen by the wayside, a previous passion you have let languish or even an old wound that you never properly cared for.
- Take a Lenten look at your finances. Are you worrying too much about money? Remember the commandments Jesus spoke off. The first two: Love God and love your neighbor. Of course, in this modern world, strong personal finance practices are important, but if you’ve been putting your job ahead of your family, it may be time to reconsider.
Lent is about more than giving up material goods. Look at the concepts behind the teachings of Jesus to get your ideas for Lent this year.
For more information and online materials, see Our Lent.