I am planning to keep Lent this year - I think it's the first time ever. I have been attending an Anglican church since the new year began and am developing such an appreciation for the church calendar. I have often thought about doing something for Lent, but it usually doesn't occur to me until a few weeks into the season, and then I give up. Having had time to research and reflect on some ideas, today I will share three ways I am marking the season of Lent in 2012.
1. Pancake dinner! Matt and I are going to the pancake dinner at the Anglican church on Shrove Tuesday. This is the first "thing" I'm doing there other than attending the service. I'm expecting the all-you-can-eat-pancakes factor will make me crave breakfast sausage! Alas.
2. Keep Fridays - no meat, fast on Good Friday Not eating meat on Fridays during Lent is an old practice that I am interested to experience. It seems like a very simple thing and is only once a week, but I don't believe spiritual disciplines need to be an outrageous challenge in order to be effective. I am also planning to fast on Good Friday, eating one full meal that does not include meat (per wikipedia). My only previous experience with this was fasting from English on Good Friday 2009, and that was great in so many ways.
3. Read the entire Bible I wasn't sure about this last one, and to be honest I'm still not 100% convinced it will happen, but I'm gonna give it a shot! A group at church is doing this, and I have never read the entire Bible cover to cover, so I printed off a reading plan (there's two options) and am going to do my best. A number of times in my youth I attempted year-long plans to read through the Bible but never made it through. For this reason, I chose the balanced plan (reading from different sections of the Bible daily instead of straight through). This will help me avoid reading the psalms all in a stretch - I would have a harder time with that than Leviticus I think! I am hoping that the short time-frame will help me push through when I don't feel like it, and I am hoping that doing this for Lent will create space in my days that I can continue to spend with God after Lent, but in prayer or other disciplines rather than in intensive reading. I also chose to do it because it is a daily practice, and I wanted something to mark the season on a daily basis.
So wish me luck! Slash pray for me, since that is much more helpful :P