Lengthening My Spiritual Practices

 

 

Lent means lengthening of days.  We receive more light day by day.  It is good to come out of the darkness of winter.  Lent asks us to look inwardly and see how soul and faith are growing.     

 

You know as well as I do that Lent can be misused and trivialized.  For some people, Lent means “I am giving up peas, brouchil and spinach.  I’m announcing a 40 day campaign to swear off Swiss chocolate and shoveling snow. That is not a Lenten challenge – its play acting. 

 

Ash Wednesday of this week pushes one to a healthy look at practices of the soul.  “God, I have not loved my family with my whole heart.”  “I have not been caring to a neighbor.”  “Pride, revenge and impatience have plagued me.”  “Some of my self-indulgent appetites have run amok.”  “I have neglected my prayer life and Sunday morning worship life.”  “I have disrespected the environment.”  I have not been true to the mind of Christ.”   

 

What bothersome habits do you and I want to replace in our lives?  If you want to replace an unhealthy habit of the soul then start with a small one.  If you want to replace a really bothersome unhealthy habit of the soul  – then go there.

 

 

What bothersome habits do you and I want to replace in our lives?  If you want to replace an unhealthy habit of the soul then start with a small one.  If you want to replace a really bothersome unhealthy habit of the soul  – then go there.  

 

The Lenten season wants to shape the good in your Christian life.  At Linden Hills UCC we can choose from a rich variety of experiences: *Sunday Morning Worship  *Wednesday Evenings: Intergenerational Reflections and Contemplation  *Sunday Early Evening Study Series: White Privilege – Let’s Talk  *Sunday Morning Pre-Worship Bible Study  *Coming: Linden Root: New Linden Hills UCC Blog.

 

Reclaimed spiritual practices await each one of us this Lenten season.  Begin in a prayerful spirit.  Trust God to lead you.

   

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are your disquieted with me?  Hope in God: for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.”   Psalm 43:5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                

                                                                 

-Dan Schmiechen    

 

                               

 

 

 


Let the Scriptures Speak

Buy An Understandable Bible Translation: Speak to Pastors Eliot and Lawrence for recommendations.

 

Church Year: Epiphany means “to show”, “to make known”, “to reveal” the church’s service to the wider world.  This season runs till Ash Wednesday, March 1 – beginning of Lent.  Colors are gold and white. 

 

Daily Scripture Reading: *Choose time of day  *Choose a quiet place  *Light a candle (symbol of God’s presence)  *Begin with a prayer (Open my heart to your Word, O God.”   *Close with a prayer (May your presence be with me today.”

 

In Conversation with Scripture:  The Bible is filled with a variety of writings.  A few examples – poetry (Psalms); history (Joshua and judges); prophets (Joel, Isaiah, Micah); Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John); the early Christian Church (Paul’s Letters) and end times (Revelation).  It is helpful to know what type of writings you are reading.  Again, check background information in your Bible.  

 

Spiritual Practice:  *When you read scripture, what word/thought comes to your attention)?  *What do these words say to you?  *What do you hear God saying to you?

 

Bible Readings For The Week:

Sunday March 5- Mark 2:1-12

Monday March 6- John 2:1-12

Tuesday March 7- John 2:13-22

Wednesday March 8- John 2:23-3:l5

Thursday March 9- John 3:16-21

Friday March 10- John 3:22-36

Saturday March 11- John 4:1-26

Pray your own prayers. 

   

 

 Dan Schmiechen is a retired minister and member of Linden Hills United Church of Christ.

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