Feb 22, 2013

Is Discipline a four-letter word?

 Lent is a worship/liturgical season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lecten, which means “spring.” Lent prepares us spiritually to celebrate Easter or Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a season of testing and penitence, so that believers begin to understand Easter and the faith it generates in us and through us.

In our Christian Church there is a long history of Lent as a time of fasting, self-examination, and rededication. The original objective of these acts was to strengthen the identification of the believer with Jesus. If successful then we may be better able to spiritually resist the weight of our befuddling culture.

As we recently celebrated Ash Wednesday we remember that it marks the launch of Lent and emphasizes a double encounter: we confront our own mortality and confess our sins before God. We focus on the dual themes of sin and death in the light of God’s restorative love in Jesus Christ. On Ash Wednesday we recall our mortality and depend on Jesus for a renewing Spirit. We acknowledge that we are nothing without Jesus and the divine sacrifice God calls on the Christ to make for us.

In our culture of instant satisfaction, the concept of “disciplines,” especially spiritual disciplines, seems almost laughable. While “disciplines” in the form of exercise routines are recognized by many as necessary for good physical health, far fewer acknowledge the need for “discipline” with respect to spiritual fitness. Observance of Lenten disciplines can be a key path to a new perception about us and what it means to follow Jesus today. Contrary to the belief that this discipline only entails giving up something or sacrificing something, it’s not just about giving up but also about giving out. This is a splendid time to focus on “giving out” to others through the mission to which God calls us.

We launch our One Mile Mission 2.0 (OMM 2.0) this next month during our “F.I.T. to serve” 5K walk. There is also a calendar in our Faith Magazine that provides a daily focus for the forty days of Lent. Feel free to place the calendar where you meditate. Also combine new spiritual actions that can equip your own personal worship, reflection, service, and giving. Try to set aside a period of time each day when you will consider the calendar’s suggestions. As part of the Lenten disciplines for each week suggestions are included for ways to contribute to our One Mile Mission 2.0.

To help our special needs ministry remember to collect your spare change and give it to the Amazing Grace Change fund that will in turn go toward a mission effort.

Be Blessed this Lenten Season!


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