Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Reflection Questions

The season of Lent is a time of spiritual preparation and renewal as we prepare to celebrate the passion and resurrection of Jesus. Below you will find the questions I referenced in my Ash Wednesday homily. Take a moment to reflect on these questions as you begin your Lenten journey this year.

Where are you spiritually?
This question asks us examine our current spiritual condition as we begin our Lenten journey. Before we can figure out where we are going, we must first identity where we are.

Spiritual Practice - Self Examination
Start a Lenten journal and write about your spiritual condition. Are you growing spiritually? If so, how? Are there areas in your life where you are on "auto-pilot" - not fully engaged and connected?

Where are you focused more on "you" than God?
We live in a culture primarily concerned with the needs and desires of the individual. There are times when we fall into this pattern in our spiritual life as well, times when we are more concerned about "being fed" than worshipping and glorifying God through our lives.

Spiritual Practice - Self Denial
This spiritual practice requires us to identify those areas of our lives that are focused primarily on ourselves rather than the glory and honor of God. Where do you need to let go of some things (fear, control, anger, etc.) in order to more fully experience God's presence in your life?

Where do you need space in you life?
Our lives often lack adequate time and space in our lives for true spiritual transformation to take place. This "space" includes physical space in our homes as well as emotional space in our hearts. In order to truly experience God's power and presence in our lives we must be open and available; there must be room enough for God to move in our lives.

Spiritual Practice - Fasting
The practice of fasting is not simply about giving something up for the sake of giving something up, but rather fasting allows us to remove some activitiy from our lives, so that space can be made available to experience God's presence and love. For example, if you fast from TV during Lent, you may find several hours during the week suddenly available for prayer and reflection.

Where is God calling  you to change direction?
Finally, this questions asks us to think about the direction of our lives. Are you moving toward greater intimacy with God and others? Are you intentional about the direction of your spiritual life? Where might God be calling you to change direction?

Spiritual Practice - Repentance
The Greek word for repentance literally means to "turn around and begin moving in a new direction." The season of Lent affords us the opportunity to stop and examine the direction of our lives. The church has always held that true confession and repentance must be accompanied by amendment of life - a change of direction!  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this reflective posting. I've been having a problem grasping the concept of Lent. This will help a great deal.