Letting Go in Lent

In a way, Lent is kind of an easy one for “Take Home Faith”, because Lent already has its own well-known practice. We give up something for Lent. In imitation of Jesus’ fasting in the desert for 40 days (which also pays homage to God’s people wandering in the desert for 40 years), we choose to give up a comfort.

This is something that makes sense to us adults, but can be harder to take on for children. So here’s another way to think about what Jesus was doing in the desert: he was LISTENING. Jesus was listening for God’s call. He was listening for guidance. He wasn’t fasting to be mean to himself, but to make sure he was open enough, empty enough, to hear the subtle voice of God.

So here’s a way to frame a Lent home practice: figure out just ONE thing that stops us from listening, and commit to replacing that thing with time listening for God. And for children, this needn’t be an absolute. If TV stops you from listening sometimes (I know it does that to me on occasion), commit to the idea that you’ll trade 5 minutes of TV time for 5 minutes of prayer time each day. Or maybe those 5 minutes are minutes away from social media. Whatever it is, name something you will “swap” for just a little time with God. Even 2 minutes each day can be a wonderful practice.

And this practice works really well in a group. You might gather as a family to decide what each of you will commit to for Lent, and come together as a group each day for those 2-5 minutes of quiet listening time with God. 40 days straight might reveal some pretty special things. Amen.

Posted in Children's Take Home Faith.