Deepening Your Lenten Journey
March 1, 2021
We are already a few weeks into Lent – and I hope you have had an opportunity to engage some of the resources on our Lent 2021 Resources on the webpage. This page is your portal to creating your own Lenten Journey this year, all around the theme of “Lament”. Here you’ll find:
- Links to daily teaching videos about the book of Lamentations by your pastors
- Podcasts by Rob Bell about Lamentations
- Resources for kids and families to engage with the theme of Lament
- Worship songs that express Lament
- Podcasts and Videos by the Archbishop of Canterbury and others about Lament
All of these resources can be used at your own pace this season.
In addition to listening and watching and growing in your understanding of Lament, we also invite you to take a shot at writing your own lament(s).
Whether or not writing is your thing, there is no better way to experience the power of Lament as a practice of faith than by crafting your own prayer of Lament. Grant yourself the grace and freedom to ignore any voices in your head that try to tell you that you are not a great writer, or you cannot write your own prayers.
It’s not a test.
You won’t be graded.
Don’t worry about getting it “wrong”.
Yes…you can do this!
We would love to help. There are two resources on the webpage that are designed to get you started:
- A Guide to Writing Laments –some thoughts on why and how we can craft our own laments
- Lament Writing Template – a worksheet to get you started
Or…you can just give it a shot! Start by writing down phrases that describe how you’re feeling – especially what you’re struggling with, frustrated about, disappointed by or simply whatever is making you feel sad, down or angry! Don’t hold back. God can handle it. In fact, God is honored by our honesty. Sometimes we fool ourselves into believing that we can (or should) hide the hard stuff of life from God – but God welcomes our lament, and has throughout history.
Once you have some initial thoughts, take your time to edit those thoughts into more complete sentences or verses of a poem.
Before you know it, you will have something like a prayer to offer before God.
A few bonus tips that might be helpful:
- Set aside some time specifically for writing – many Christians have benefitted from shifting their habits and schedules during Lent. Try 15 minutes a day or an hour a week. If you don’t fill your time with writing…you can always take some time to simply pray!
- Find a quiet place – for some, living spaces are very quiet these days. For others, more people at home means less quiet time. Whatever it takes, find a place of peace to make the most of your time.
- Don’t edit…at first. Just dump your thoughts onto the page. Later you can go back and re-work your words and phrases into something more cohesive. Ignore the voice that says, “you shouldn’t say that…”
Finally – we hope that you will consider sharing your lament with us. At any time throughout the season, feel free to share what you’ve got – whether a complete thought, or just the pieces. You can email your writing to Pastor Todd or me…we’d love to hear about how this effort is shaping your connection with God this season!
Make the most of your Lenten journey this year by writing a lament…or two. We believe that God will meet you in your expression of pain with the grace and love we know through Jesus.
Let us know if we can help!