Don't Know What to do for Lent? Let Me Try and Help.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Ash Wednesday and begin the Season of Lent, a 40 Day journey (excluding Sundays) leading us to the traditional remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday and ultimately to the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have observed a “holy Lent” by fasting. Fasting is the spiritual discipline of abstaining from something for a period of time.
About this time, I hear lots of Christians asking each other the same question: “What are you giving up for Lent?”
Many of us struggle with this. We want to participate. But we don’t know what to do.
I’d like to offer a plan. Please take this and use it as you will. Modify it. Change it. Do whatever you want to with it. But use it.
I find that when I get stuck trying to figure out what to do before Lent, I often don’t do anything. This plan will, if nothing more, give us something to do every day.
A couple of things before I outline the plan: First, I want to give credit and thanks to Nadia Bolz Weber. Her blog post and list inspired me to create one of my own. Second, you will notice that Sundays are left blank. That is because Sundays are considered mini-Easters during Lent; they are days of Celebration in preparation for Resurrection Sunday. Traditionally, all fasts were broken on Sunday and resumed on Monday. If you would prefer, you can add something to your plan for Sunday, but just know that you don’t have to. Lastly, some days you will be asked to “do” something as opposed to refrain from something; this is intentional. I think that part of the experience of Lent is not that we simply “stop” doing certain things, but that we “start” doing things that can potentially become practices that we carry with us once Lent is over.
OK. Here is the plan.
The plan begins on Wednesday, February 13th
Day 1: Attend an Ash Wednesday service
Day 2: Read Luke 9:51-62
Day 3: No meat
Day 4: No sugar
Day 5: Read Luke 10
Day 6: No secular music
Day 7: Take a walk around your neighborhood
Day 8: No complaining
Day 9: Read Luke 11-12
Day 10: Clean closets and take clothes to a Rescue Mission
Day 11: Pray for 15 minutes
Day 12: Read Luke 13-14
Day 13: Drink only water all day
Day 14: Do one act of random kindness
Day 15: Read Luke 15-16
Day 16: No internet
Day 17: Pray for 20 minutes
Day 18: No TV
Day 19: Text 5 people and tell them how much they mean to you
Day 20: Read Luke 17-18
Day 21: Eat only fruits and vegetables all day
Day 22: No work (housework, yardwork etc.) Play day!
Day 23: Give $20 to a good cause
Day 24: Pray for 25 minutes (include your enemies)
Day 25: Attend a mid-week worship service or small group
Day 26: Read Luke 19-20
Day 27: No sweets
Day 28: Organize and/or participate in a service project
Day 29: Buy several $5 gift cards and give them to random people
Day 30: Say “I love you” at least 5 times
Day 31: Read Luke 21-22
Day 32: No arguing
Day 33: No social media
Day 34: Call someone who you haven’t talked to in a while
Day 35: Pray for 30 minutes
Day 36: No caffeine
Day 37: Watch this video and share it with a non-Christian friend
Day 38: Have a meal and communion with friends and family
Day 39: Forgive someone
Day 40: Read Luke 23