Giving Up Ignoring God for Lent
As disciples of Jesus we have an invitation to be with him (Mark 3:14) and a promise that he will be with us (Matt 28:20). So we can be confident of God's presence with us through every minute of every day. However, many of us aren't aware of God through every minute of every day. God is present but we are unaware.
This year we are encouraging everyone in our church to 'give up ignoring God' for Lent by using these 40 days to Cultivate a more Consistent Awareness of Christ with us. In history this has been called 'practicing the presence of God'. It is a form of 'praying without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17), and another way to describe setting our hearts and minds on things above (Col 3:1-4).
This is a habit we can all improve (it is not about perfection or competition, it is a wonderful opportunity).
There are three things that will help us do this during Lent:
Focus: set aside times each day to read parts of the gospels - this fills our mind with accurate information about what Christ is like. Here are two ways to read parts of the gospels each day:
Read a large chunk - several chapters - to give you a bigger picture of Jesus' life and ministry.
Pick a small section of a gospel and read it over several times, imagining the scene, thinking about how different people in the scene would have thought and felt.
Frequency: Experiment with the different suggestions of how to cultivate an awareness of Christ contained within 'The game with minutes'.
Friends: gather together with a few friends to go on this journey together to encourage each other and keep each other accountable - you could meet together once a week to read the gospels and share what experiments you have been trying and plan to try; or you could simply create a WhatsApp/Facebook/Messenger group and share similar things online. ?
Here are some resources to help:
1. Download this planner (pdf
to print out or excel spreadsheet
to open on your computer).
2. Access Frank Laubach's "The game with minutes". Which is now available:
3. Download the YouVersion Bible app (iOS app Store or Google Playstore) to engage with the gospels in different ways:
select from a wide range of translations - reading a new translation can bring familiar passages to life.
listen to audio recordings of the gospels (You can switch the Audio Bible to an Anglicised version if you prefer).
watch videos of the gospels - tap on the 'more' tab in the app and chose 'video' to access videos of the gospels including the classic Jesus film (based on the gospel of Luke) as well as more recent dramatisations of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John from the Lumo Project.