Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Lent Practices - Putting Down and Taking Up

Is it a prayer station or is it Godly Play? Both maybe?  Either way, after a shaky start,  my inner child has  been having a whale of a time recently. I've been running the church's lent library book swap scheme which we had for the first time in 2011 as part of a special Lent program of Putting Down and Taking Up. We're encouraged to press the  'pause' button on   the  busyness of  our daily  lives by putting down something, be it an activity, way of being or  behaving;  in particular clearing our schedules of all but necessary 'churchy' meetings,  replacing them by practices that draw us closer to God. To explore new types of prayer, journaling, maybe painting, reading (hence the book scheme), or getting out and about and walking in the countryside. 

To date, I've little idea how this is working out in practice. Maybe I should ask...

Getting back to the library, the joke of it is that I  get 'booked out' quite easily nowadays. And I'm finding that as I get older, the very  thought of  the  plethora of Lent and Advent resources churned out by Christian publishers  brings me out into a sweaty panic.  Simplicity is my watchword; I am Franciscan, after all! And to remain open to what calls.

So a week in, I was rather taken by the use of imagery and symbolism in   the Sunday sermon,  when  bingo! I mean - Hallelujah! (Oops! Sorry, it's Lent). There it was - my Lent 'practice.' : Each Sunday I  wait to see what speaks to me from the talk and create a  library display round it for the following week. The one in the pic here was inspired by The Cost of Discipleship. Advantages: well, first of all it ensures that I listen to the sermon! Secondly, it helps focus me as I  sit prayerfully with it* during the week. Lastly, to translate it into another, non words-based medium is, as I've discovered with my experiments with art journaling, a wonderful means of helping move those truths from head down to heart. 

What anybody else makes of it, again, I have no idea...

For now I'm off to muse over last Sunday's topic: Sin.

*[ whenever new GP cat condescends to let me onto my comfy armchair, that is. You don't mess with him, as the vet who gave him his vacc this afternoon will certify.] 

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