Downloadable Document: Year B Family Devotional 2018- Lent
Background Information for the Devotional:
Lent – What does it mean?:
As early as the mid-fourth century, Christians have observed a time of preparation before the Easter celebration. The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days. The forty days of Lent recall the 40 day fast of Jesus in the wilderness after his baptism (Matthew 4:2, Luke 4:1-2) and Moses’ 40 day fast on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28). It is a time of simplicity and preparation.
The Principal Themes of Lent include penitence; baptismal renewal; preparation for baptism at the Easter Vigil; prayer, fasting, and service; confession of sin rooted in the promise of God that comes through the cross of Christ.
Purple is the seasonal color which suggests somberness & solemnity as well as royalty.
(Taken from www.elca.org)
Lent at home:
Life is busy! Work, school, athletic events, extra-curricular activities, travel, church, civic organizations, friends, family, etc. occupy much if not all of our time. We often choose to “give-up” something for Lent that won’t really be an inconvenience for us. It rarely brings us closer to God.
This Lent I encourage you all to spend time as a family reflecting, praying, and preparing. This devotional resource is intended to give you tools to have family devotions. It is built around the prayer practices of Lectio Divina & Praying in Color as well as the physical exercise practices of yoga and walking. The weekly lesson is intended to be repeated each night so that you can continue to learn, reflect, and expand. Your prayers will inevitably shift based on your experiences each day. There are also lessons for Ash Wednesday and Holy Week.
In Christianity, Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.
Traditionally Lectio Divina has 4 separate steps: read, meditate, pray and contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God. For use with children I have simplified the steps down to read, think, pray, and rest. See Appendix A for a visual graphic explaining Lectio Divina.
Praying in Color:
Praying in Color is a concept developed by Sybil MacBeth for the times when we have no words but want to communicate with God. It is particularly wonderful for children as they often have short attention spans, don’t know how or what to pray, view prayer time as a chore, etc. Praying in color incorporates doodling, coloring, & prayer all together. No words are necessary. Think of a person, place, organization, that you would like to pray for. Write down their name and begin to doodle and color on the page while thinking about them. When your picture feels complete, your prayer is also. To incorporate in with Lectio Divina, write down a word or phrase that struck you from the passage you read and then doodle and color the page during the “Pray/Oratio” step. Two sample templates for praying in color are included in Appendix C & D.
Additional information regarding Praying in Color & additional praying in color templates can be found at http://prayingincolor.com/ or by purchasing Praying in Color; Praying in Color Kids Edition; or Praying in Black and White by Sybil MacBeth.