This exercise puts a different spin on to Lent’s theme “putting away of distractions” or the practice of “giving something up for Lent.” The point being made is that Lent’s purpose is to help us to give up to God those the things that we cannot give up on our own.
I’d like to do a little exercise today: I’m going to pass out notecards and ask that we all write down something in our life that we know that we can’t resolve without God’s help. It could be something simple, like losing ten pounds, or something harder, like ending or recovering from a toxic or painful relationship.
Through this, we’ll be practicing Lent as a time for giving up, but not in an abstinence sort of way. Instead, it’ll be a time of giving up to God that which we can’t fix ourselves.
We’ll put our notecards in this box, and keep it here on our altar throughout Lent. On Easter morning we’ll burn these notecards, as the Jews used to do with their temple sacrifices: letting them rise up to heaven so that God can handle them for us.
- We used a wooden box for this exercise. It might work better to use a cardboard box that can simply be burned with its contents. Another idea is to have the congregation’s children decorate this box – either as an exercise during the course of the service, or else as a church school task in a prior week.
- Confidentiality is Key. People may write quite personal and private things on their notecards. Care should be taken that the box is sealed, and is kept secure in between services.
Copyright (c) 2016, Allen Vander Meulen III, all rights reserved. I’m happy to share my writings with you, as long as proper credit for my authorship is given. (e.g., via a credit that gives my full name and/or provides a link back to this site – or just email me and ask!)