Lent: A Time For Habits…

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:16-18

It is that time again when we are all full of yesterday’s pancakes, and we have finally gotten to Ash Wednesday. January is a long month where we are just hobbling on to the next pay day after Christmas and then once we pass that hurdle, we blink and it’s the end of February….

As we look ahead to Spring and the joyous months of summer, I find myself pausing to check in with myself and my relationship with God. I feel by the time I get to this point of the year, I’ve been running quite hard on the hamster wheel, with very little time to focus on the Lord and pour into that relationship. This year is no different, and I know for a lot of people around me, there has been a sense of heaviness and difficulty with different stresses, strains, grief and illnesses. So if, like me, you’re looking to spend more time looking to Him for nourishment, guidance and/or healing, whether that be personally or for people around you, look no further!

As a church family, we will be doing the same, in different ways. And you don’t have to just listen to me (for once!), we will have a different member of our family speak about the habits they have, to stay connected to their faith and Jesus, with the hopes that it might help inspire or reinforce ideas for those reading. It isn’t about boasting about the great thing we individually do, but a way to help keep each other accountable as we walk this journey of discipleship together.

What Is Lent?

For us, Lent is a time of reflection and habits to get closer to God, because as disciples of Jesus we need to follow what He did. Jesus often retreated for prayer and time with the Lord; most notably His time in the wilderness after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. Giving something up or spending more time on our spiritual habits, is the smallest way to replicate Jesus’ 40-day fasting after being baptised.

What Habits should I Have?

This is entirely up to you, there is by no means a right or wrong answer. But if you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas and as I say, keep an eye out weekly on what habits other members of our church family find helpful;:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

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