Lent as a Time for Healing
Lent is the time of preparation in the church and we often mark this liturgical season with simplicity, prayer, spiritual formation, and education programs. But in a time of disruption and tension, when the past 10 months have felt like an extended fast from community and we have all faced our own mortality in the threat of Covid, perhaps the focus for Lent should be on healing. Healing encompasses many, many things right now: healing of relationships, healing for the environment, racial healing and justice, and healing of our souls from the constant stress of this past year. Perhaps you have a planned Lenten program at your church, or perhaps you are searching for a resource for yourself and others . . . here are some suggestions:
Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent from the Presiding Bishop’s office. The journey through Lent into Easter is a journey with Jesus. We are baptized into his life, self-giving, and death; then, we rise in hope to life transformed. This Lent, communities are invited to walk with Jesus in his Way of Love and into the experience of transformed life. Together, we will reflect anew on the loving actions of God as recounted in the Easter Vigil readings. Together, we will walk through the depths of salvation history into the fullness of redemption. Videos, adult forum curriculum, calendar, publicity materials, and quiet day curriculum available in English, Spanish, and French.
For Lent, the Brothers of The Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) invite you to take on a simple practice that draws on the rhythm and richness of the monastic life – yet fits into your day. “Brother, Give Us a Word” has been helping people to start the day with prayer for over a decade. This Lent, the Brothers are expanding the daily message to include additional ways to engage the WORD throughout your day: through a practice, a provocation, or a prayer. Subscribe now at SSJE.org/word.
The United Thank Offering (UTO) offers two Lenten resources. For adults, there is the 40 Days of Gratitude Lenten Journal. This is designed for at-home use for adults to deepen their spiritual practice of gratitude during Lent. Each week focuses on practicing gratitude for a specific topic based on scripture. We recommend printing it out double-sided and stapling it on the long edge, so that it functions as a book.
UTO also offers Lenten Gratitude Lessons for Children. UTO’s Lenten resources for children include an introductory lesson about gratitude, a craft for the 40 days of Lent, and a closing lesson. There are two versions – one designed for use at home, and the other designed for use by Faith Formation leaders.
The Lenten Virtual Borderlands Experience (VBE) series is designed to expose participants to the border crossing experiences of immigrants, including their perilous journey towards the border, their interaction with detention centers, and the work of churches and other organizations that support them. This five-week Lenten VBE series can be done at home alone, with your family, or as part of a congregational study group.
From Episcopal Relief & Development: “Our work with Anglican and Ecumenical partners creates sustainable, transformational change in close to 3 million lives around the world each year. This year, the Lenten Meditations will focus on that transformation. These reflections are organized into Episcopal Relief & Development’s priorities: Women, Children and Climate, and include a focus on our Disaster Resilience & Response work.”