Lent is a season of preparing our hearts for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. In preparation for the hope and joy of Easter, Lent reminds us that the resurrection came only after the crucifixion. The focus on the cross brings a greater contrast to the joy found in the resurrection.
There is not a typical, universal symbol for the season of Lent (like the wreath for Advent). However, with the focus of the season being the cross of Jesus, many families form a cross with seven, small tea lights. Just as Advent includes ever-increasing light the closer you get to Christmas, Lent is a season of ever-decreasing light as you near Easter. The darkness reminds us of the sacrifice made by the Light of the World. At the beginning of Lent, light all seven candles and then read God’s Word together. Each night when you read scripture together, light the candles. Each week, light one less candle until on Good Friday, it is completely dark.
Listen to our seasonal playlist for songs you can sing with your family.
FAMILY DISCIPLESHIP RHYTHM
God of mercy, we recognize that You gave Your Son as a sacrifice so we could have eternal life. Jesus, we believe that You came to seek and save the lost. Spirit, we ask that You reveal our sins to us. We recognize that salvation is impossible without You. Jesus, fill us with the life that only You can give. As we remember Your life and death, keep our hearts focused on Your holiness and grace. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
PRACTICE – FASTING
Experience Sacrifice for the Good of Another. Sacrifice is a spiritual discipline that helps us understand God a little bit better because of the sacrifice He made on our behalf. Find a way you can experience voluntary sacrifice. Buy someone else’s meal at a restaurant or give away something you love to bring joy to someone else. This can be spontaneous or you can plan together as a family how you will sacrifice for someone else.
Fasting Together. Fasting is a way in which you can deepen your understanding of your dependence on Jesus. As you fast, you can remember that Jesus is better than anything this world has to offer. Decide together as a family what you will give up during this season. You can all give up the same thing, or each person can choose something different. Work to encourage each other to make it until Easter. Many people choose to fast from food. You can either fast on a certain day of the week or pick a certain food (meat, coffee, or sweets) to refrain from during the season. Some people choose to fast from screens and media. Instead of watching a family movie together, take the time to read God’s Word and reflect on how it changes each person. As a family, whenever you are craving what you are fasting from, say a quick prayer like, “Lord, thank You for Your death, burial, and resurrection!” The prayer can help you remember what you are celebrating by fasting.
Prayer Eggs. Place strips of paper with different prayer topics inside plastic Easter eggs. The week leading up to Easter, make enough eggs for each family member to open one egg per day. Topics could include prayers of gratitude, prayers for your family, and prayers for local ministries (Potter’s House, Lifesource, Laundry Love, Salvation Army, Community Kids Closet, etc.). Take time each day to have everyone open an egg and share about the prayer topic that day.
Holy Week Devotionals. During Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, a family devotional is available each day here and on page 158 of your Clarity Book to help your family remember Jesus’ journey to the cross.
MOMENTS & MEMORIES
No Complaining Day. Declare a “No Complaining Day.” Decide as a family what each of you must do if you complain. You could do ten pushups, put a quarter in a jar, or add another chore to your chore list.
Family Bike Ride. Go for an adventure and take a family bike ride on the Razorback Greenway. You could bring a picnic lunch and stop along the way to eat, or you could ride to a restaurant close to the bike route.
Visit a Zoo. Many animals have their babies in the spring. Take a day to visit a zoo (Gentry Safari, Tulsa Zoo, or Little Rock Zoo) or an aquarium (Jenks Aquarium) and see how many baby animals you can find.
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