Living Lent in Families

Need some more ideas for helping families live this season of Lent?  Marilyn Sharpe, of EveryDay Ministries has these suggestions:

  • Select a children’s Bible or family Bible and read the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection together.  Read just a piece of the story each time and wonder, “What does this mean?” and “What are we to do as a loving response to what Jesus has done for us?”
  • Instead of giving up chocolate or desserts this Lent, add a gift of family service once a week.  Perhaps you will visit an elderly relative (or someone you don’t know who never has visitors) in a nursing home.  This might be the time your family writes a letter to or draws a picture for a person serving far away in the armed services.  Bring a dinner to a family with a new baby or sick parent.  Offer to babysit for a single parent.
  • As a family, learn to say, “I am sorry.  Can you forgive me?” when you have done or said something that has hurt another person.  Teach the response, which is not “Oh, no problem” or “It doesn’t matter”, but “I forgive you.”  In worship, point out the confession of sins and absolution, in which we all confess to the wrong we have done and receive God’s forgiveness.
  • Read a book, watch a movie, or have a conversation about what happens when we do not forgive one another.  Ask, “How does it feel when you hold a grudge or stay angry with someone?”  Forgiveness is as liberating for the one who forgives, as it is for the one who is forgiven.
  • When your child tells you about someone who is hard to get along with or when you hear or read news of someone who has wronged another, pray for that person.
  • Eat by candlelight each night of Lent, lighting a candle and saying, “Jesus is the light of the world” or echoing the words of the baptismal service, “Let your light so shine before others that they will see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  (May this become your new family ritual.)
  • Share a story about a person who has been the light of Christ in your life or a person for whom you have been that light.

May this season of living Lent be a wholly holy one for you and those you love.

For more EveryDay reflections, check out their blog at http://everydayeverywhereeveryrelationship.blogspot.com/

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