During this holy season of penitence and preparation, we invite you to make daily use of our Lenten devotional, a booklet of meditations, prayers, poems, and images, to guide you into a deeper experience of God’s love, nearness, and restoration. Though we cherish and deeply miss gathering together as a community, we believe that God still desires to meet and nourish us individually, in our homes and within our families. Our task, even during these challenging times, is to open ourselves to divine nourishment through the daily practices of prayer and contemplation. To that end, we invite you not simply to read through the devotional this year, but to use it as a tool to enhance and deepen your relationship with Jesus. Just as Christ walked through the wilderness for forty days, we are called to walk the road of ever-deepening faith. Not merely to observe Christianity as interested bystanders, but to put one foot in front of the other, and seek the God who seeks us. To that end, here are some concrete ways to use the devotional:
- Set aside a period of time each day to spend with God. Start small if you’re not used to doing this — fifteen minutes will suffice. If you don’t already have a sacred space set up at home, follow the instructions on page 3 of the devotional, and create a simple home altar. Make a commitment to go to this place at your appointed time each day, and invite God to meet you there. Go gently, with patience and grace. If you miss a day, it’s okay. Know that you are unconditionally loved, and that it is always God’s beckoning that draws you back into prayer. Thank God for that compassionate beckoning, and begin again.
- Read slowly and meditatively through a section of the devotional. Notice the words or sentences that give you pause. What strikes you? Comforts you? Provokes you? What questions do you have? Share what you notice with God. If you like to write or draw, put your thoughts on paper. Imagine Jesus conversing with you through the language of the devotional.
- Choose a line from a reading, reflection, or poem to carry with you. Return to the line often. Turn it over in your mind, allowing its meanings to ripple out across your day. As your prayer time draws to a close, ask God to “connect the dots” for you, allowing you to carry what you have read into every particular of your “regular life.” Invite God’s ongoing presence and guidance as you move into the next part of your day.
- Commit to a weekly practice to supplement your daily time with God. For example, see page 4 of the devotional for instruction and prayers for an Agape meal, something you might share with other members of your household or “pod.”