Lent is that season of the year that the church has used to help us understand the journey of faith and Jesus’ journey to the Cross and to resurrection. Here are the key dates for 2019.
Shrove Tuesday | 5 March
Ash Wednesday | 6 March
Palm Sunday | 14 April
Maundy Thursday | 18 April
Good Friday | 19 April
Easter Sunday | 21 April
As part of Lent this year we are encouraging you to read through the Gospel of Luke. A reading schedule will be posted here by March 3, and hard copies will be available at OCC
We talked about the discipline or practice or prayer of examen on Sunday. Here is the basic outline. Use it as a way of being present in God’s presence.
God I believe I am in your presence and that you love me
God as I look at the gifts of the day, I give you thanks, because you are the source and the giver of these gifts
Spirit of God, help me to understand the mystery of my heart. Help me to see my limits and to respond to your many gifts.
God help me to see the faces of the people I have met, the places I have been and the things I have thought, spoken and done.
God for where I have seen you present I give thanks. Where I have resisted seeing you, I ask for forgiveness. Enable me by your grace to seek you and see you at all times.
offers help and encouragement after the death
of a spouse, child, family member, or friend
- 13 weeks
- beginning Thursday 7 March
We get our life (our value, worth, significance, security) from Jesus. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT)
Gratitude finds its root in the Latin word “gratis” which is where we get the word grace. It means finding the good in all things. Everything we have, we’ve been given. That begins with the very breath in our lungs.
In every situation, we have the choice to be grateful.
Contrary to popular belief, gratitude is not a feeling or an emotion, it is a choice.
As we begin to understand what we’ve been given, gratitude grows.
- As it expands, we learn to cultivate an abundance mindset.
- An abundance mindset sees endless possibilities and blessings.
- On the other hand, a scarcity mindset sees challenges and struggles.
- In short, gratitude chooses to see what we have while entitlement chooses to focus on what we don’t have.
Choose to live with gratitude.
Playing the comparison game is one of the things human beings do best. We spend a lot of our time comparing our capacities and careers and possessions to other people, wishing ours was different, or more.
But what we don’t realize is, we’re only envying people’s presumed happiness. We’re only comparing ourselves with people’s idealized versions of themselves. And we have no idea what’s going on inside of others.
And so, anything we say about ourselves in relation to them will be unfair, biased and only focused on a place outside of ourselves.
In the same way that our doctor tells us to drink plenty of fluids when we’re sick, we need to let gratitude flush out envy. Here are a few strategies.
- Instead of beating ourselves up about how much farther along the journey someone else is, take an inventory of how far we’ve come.
- Instead of resenting people for receiving more recognition than we have or feel their work deserves, send them a note with heartfelt congratulations.
- Instead of cursing the unfairness about whose dream gets more attention, show an appreciation for the fact that we even have room to dream in the first place.
Obviously, not all in the same day.
This practice of letting gratitude crowd out envy is not an easy one to practice.
It requires deep imagination, optimism and trust.
Basically, a total reframing of something that comes naturally to us.
And that’s what the gospel does in us.
Put these dates on your calendar
We are looking at course corrections
so that we can be all that God wants us to be
- 13 Jan – Gospel – on the right track
- 20 Jan – Gratitude
- 27 Jan – Together – community
- 3 Feb – Maps – Kingdom life
- 10 Feb – Unplugged – media
- 17 Feb – Money
For the next 21 days we encourage you to write down every day…
- things that you notice that you are grateful for
- don’t make up stuff
- don’t write down abstract stuff
- but what are you noticing & experiencing that you are thankful for
Beginning 1 January
Here is the daily prayer guide