Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Your Lenten Word
Back in college, the church on our campus would have a basket full of pebbles chilling in the entraceway during the first week of Lent. Each pebble had a word written on it, much like the words you see above. It was a tradition in this church for all passersby to pick out a random wordified pebble, this word becoming your focus for the upcoming 40-day spiritual journey. I always liked this tradition and enjoyed having this physical reminder (i.e. the pebble), this call to focus, sitting and staring at me for all the days leading up to wonderful Easter.
I decided to take this tradition and youth-ify it a little so I could introduce it to my teens at youth group this Sunday. Seems like a great way to kick off Lent to me!
The teens have all been told to bring a palm-sized pebble to youth group this weekend, but they're not sure what it's for yet. I like to keep 'em in the dark sometimes. Makes it more fun.
After a guided meditation, in which the teens will imagine themselves in conversation in Jesus, they'll take a look at this word splash I created and pick out the word they feel Jesus calling them to the most. Whether it's something they need more of (wisdom, strength, joy), something they need to work on (chastity, forgiveness, patience), or something they just feeling calling out to them (blessed, nourish, justice), the hope is that they'll hone in on one word and just know it was specifically chosen for them by Jesus as their Lenten focus.
Once they choose the word that is really speaking to them, they'll write the word on their pebble and take it with them as a reminder of the word they've been called to pray and meditate on for the next 40 days.
After creating the word splash, I found myself excited to share it with all of you, and for a few reasons...
1.) Isn't it pretty??
2.) Ok, more importantly, isn't this a great little Lenten tradition? If you're feeling called, I encourage you to say a quick prayer, take a look at the word splash above, and pick out the word that Jesus is calling you to most this Lent. It may take a minute or two, maybe even just a millisecond, but I'm sure you'll connect with one special word, and that word will lead you somewhere special this Lent.
3.) Sometimes I feel like the options for Lent can be overwhelming. Give up this, take on that, be a perfect angel, pray every second of every day or else you're DOING IT WRONG. The truth is, that's not the truth at all. But it's all too easy to take on too much and lose focus in the middle of all this Lenten hubbub. So if you're like me and you just need an overall unifying theme (i.e. word) to keep your focus this time around, hopefully praying for and discovering the perfect word meant for your Lenten journey will be helpful. And fruitful. And God-ful. Amen.
And if you do pick out that perfect word, I encourage you to write it on a pebble or in your journal or on your mirror or just somewhere good. Pick a place that will continue to remind you to stay focused on your God-given word during this Lenten season.
I'll be praying for all of you, for a peaceful, prayerful, and fruitful Lent.