On Ash Wednesday we will once again enter the season of Lent, a period designed for self-reflection, which is meant to lead through prayer to a closer walk with Jesus as he headed toward the cross – and beyond. Traditionally, many have practiced self-denial as a way of connecting to the sacrifice Jesus entered into as he followed God’s call.
As children, we might have given up candy or some other indulgence as a way of developing spiritual discipline. As adults, we may wish to go deeper than that. What might a spiritual discipline for adults entail?
A simple practice would be to read and contemplate the Daily Devotional, found at UCC.org. Something more challenging might be getting involved at the Parish Cupboard or some other agency, where regular interaction with the impoverished might help us to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are the poor.”
Traditionally, there are three Lenten practices that are to be taken up with renewed commitment: prayer, which is justice toward God; fasting, which is justice toward self; and almsgiving, which is justice toward neighbors. Ideally, all three spiritual disciplines begin for us anew on Ash Wednesday.
On Easter, then, having walked in spiritual discipline with Christ for all of Lent, we might truly experience how much there is to celebrate. Easter is more than a family holiday when it is prepared for in this way. It is then truly what it is meant to be: a Holy Day.
Lent is coming. Shall we begin our adult-level disciplines?
See you in church?