LENT AT HOME

Lent at Home

WHAT IS LENT?

Lent is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is also a time of self-examination and reflection. The season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, which is the Saturday before Easter. Since the date of Easter changes each year, unlike Christmas, the dates of the Lenten season change each year too.

Lent lasts 40 days. The 40 days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for ministry before his temptation by Satan. The 40 days does not include Sundays. This is because every Sunday is a “Little Easter”, or a remembrance of the resurrection of Christ each week.

HOW DO WE USE THIS AT HOME LENT KIT?

During these 40 days, through your Lent at Home Kit, your family will journey through reflection, repentance and growth as you strengthen your relationship with God as a family.

Each week CUMC will release a video devotional below that digs in to each of the elements we will use to journey through Lent together. You will find most of these elements included in your Lent at Home Kit. Your family will be responsible for acquiring the elements noted with an asterisk(*). Following the devotion video, your family may then follow the card for that week. Each card has a Scripture, reflection questions, and a prayer that are related to the element of that week.

Ash Wednesday:
– Read Genesis 2:7
– Take the ashes from your Lent at Home Kit, dip your finger into the ash, and draw a cross on your or your family member’s forehead or hand.
– Spend a few moments in prayer.

When the Israelite people were exiled to an unknown and unfamiliar land, they felt hopeless and alone in the empty wilderness. But our Creator God is the breath of life, filling and inspiring both ourselves and the Israelite people. The palm branches remind us of the life of Jesus and the gifts of the Earth. After we wave palm branches on Palm Sunday, we store the branches until the next year, when they are burned to create the ashes needed for Ash Wednesday. The ashes remind us who are—people who were and are made out of the dust and dirt and ash. They also remind us whose we are—children of God.

Reflection:
Discuss or think about the following questions:
– Have you felt God asking you to change anything about yourself today?
– If so, what?

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for forming us out of dust and ashes, breathing life into us. Help us to remember that our entire lives depend upon You. Fill us with the Holy Spirit, so that we can be faithful followers of Jesus. Amen.

– Read John 4:13-14.
– Take the clear pebbles from your Lent at Home Kit and place them into a small bowl of water. Then touch the pebbles in the water. 
– Spend a few moments in prayer.

The season of Lent is a time for all Christians to do the hard work of tearing down the walls and barriers that separate us from each other and from God. Sin is the ultimate thing that separates us from God and from our neighbors. Through the waters of baptism, we are born anew into God’s family and into the church, where sin no longer has the ultimate hold on our lives. The water reminds us that we are washed clean as God’s children.

Reflection:
Discuss or think a bout the following questions:
-Are you baptized? Do you remember your baptism? If not, ask your parent(s) about your baptism on the way home.
– What does baptism mean to you?
-What needs to be “washed clean” in your life?

PRAYER:
Dear God, thank You for the gift of baptism. By water and the Spirit, you claimed us as Your own—cleansing us from sin and death, and giving us new life. Renew in us the covenant we made with you at our baptism, so that we can be Your people in this world. Amen.

– Read Luke 4:18-19
– Take the oil from your Lent at Home Kit, dip your finger into the oil, and using the oil, draw the shape of the cross on the back of your hand.
– Spend a few moments in prayer.

God chose the Israelite people as the people of God. But in their exile, they felt alone, hopeless, and lost. And they forgot who they were—the people of God, God’s Anointed people. When the Israelites remembered God’s unending love, they changed from hopeless into hopeful. They remembered that they had been anointed by God. Jesus also was chosen by God—to show us how to love, to take on the sins of the world, and most importantly, to save us. Just as God chose Jesus, God has chosen you.

Reflection:
Discuss or think about the following questions:
– Just as kings and priests were anointed, you have also been anointed as God’s own. Remember that as oil softens rough and broken places, so too can God’s love soften our hearts. Where in your life needs God’s softening?

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for Your healing hand. We ask You to help soften and heal our broken and hurting hearts. Thank You for loving and choosing us. Amen.

 

With this Lent at Home Experience, our hope is that you and your family are able to cultivate the spirit of the lenten journey in your own space. We are thankful that you celebrated lent with us and can’t wait to see you online or in-person on Easter Sunday!

Blessings!
– CUMC Staff