On February 18 (Ash Wednesday), Lent begins. How to observe the 40 days before Easter? In this video, United Methodists talk about their choices — whether to give something up as a sacrifice, or add something to their devotional life. See what they say.
The website Rethink Church offers an unusual way to observe Lent: take a picture a day for that day’s theme (listed above). and post them on Facebook, as quoted here:
As we journey through this season of Lent, some will choose to give up something. Some will go about their lives as if it was ordinary time. Some will choose to be more reflective. Whatever your practices this season, will you join this photo-a-day challenge and share with the community how you perceive each word or phrase for the day? ….
You don’t have to be a great photographer. This project is more about the practice of paying attention and being intentional, than it is using the right filter or getting the perfect shot..
The first of the daily themes is Announce, for Ash Wednesday, followed by Look, Joy, and Alone. For details on this intriguing project, click here.
God’s Word shows us that even life’s barren and hostile wilderness cannot separate us from God’s love and the destiny God has for us. That’s what ZhiHui Poh preached on March 9 in a Lenten sermon at Princeton United Methodist Church. His topic in the Landscape of Lent series was the wilderness — the wilderness in which the Israelites wandered, the wilderness in which Jesus was tempted, and the wilderness in our own lives.
He offered an inspiring message about how to think of “life’s wilderness” three ways — as part of God’s grace, as part of God’s discipline, or as part of God’s confidence in us. To continue reading, click here.
(The altar was designed for this service by Debbie Meola).
Some of God’s best work happens in the midst of chaos and ambiguity, said Catherine Williams in her sermon at Princeton United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 16, 2014. The theme was “Wind,” and it was part of a Lenten sermon series on the elements. Here is an excerpt, and for the complete text, click here. The audio version is also available on Sermon.net.
Some of God’s best work happens in the midst of chaos and ambiguity. I was never more aware of that than in my clinical pastoral exposure in the chaos of emergency rooms, in the ambiguity of the psychiatric floor, or in the limbo of the intensive care unit and its waiting rooms. As a terrified chaplain-in-training, despite my predilection for order and control, I discovered that some of God’s best work takes place in the midst of life’s disruptions.
May those of us today who are trying to live through situations of ambiguity and uncertainty allow the wind of God’s spirit to fill us with peace. Often in this place of peace we encounter God’s wisdom, God’s knowledge, God’s understanding, God’s perspective of the situation that simply had not occurred to us before, nor would ever have, had we not placed our trust in God.
So come Holy Spirit, blow upon our hearts this day.
Blow your healing breath where there is pain and sadness.
Blow like a gale where there is complacency and inertia.
Blow, wind of God, blow over our trampled, broken dreams and bring them to life.
Blow over our callous hearts and soften them for your compassionate use.
Blow over our broken families and breathe forgiveness into places of disillusion.
Blow over frail and dysfunctional bodies and cause a rush of healing life to flow within them.
Blow over our failed systems of justice and overturn the rampant corruption and fraud that oppress your people.
Blow over city streets filled with violence and crime; let your reign of peace exert a leavening influence in our families and schools so our children learn to love peace and hate war.
Come holy spirit, breath of God, may this Lenten season give way to the Easter of our lives where we are reborn and renewed from above…
in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the blessed Holy Spirit, Amen