Lent, a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. For Christians Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
We find ourselves in the second year of a pandemic that has deeply affected the whole world. We have given up so much already during this pandemic and we face another year of uncertainty, loss of freedom, loss of our plans, loss of time with family and friends, loss of loved ones. And yet we enter into this season of Lent.
A time of reflection and preparation of our hearts and minds to appreciate the depth and breadth of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, his death on the cross, standing in the place of our sins and providing a way for us to be with God today and for eternity.
As we enter this first week of lent, we share from William Arthur Wards “Lenten Litany on Fasting and Feasting”.
We’ve only chosen a few to share, but you can find the whole litany by clicking this button.
I pray that his words will help us to fast from what takes us away from God and to feast upon God’s life-giving presence.
Fast from judging others;
Feast on the Christ indwelling them.
Fast from thoughts of illness;
Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from discontent;
Feast on gratitude.
Fast from worry;
Feast on divine order.
Fast from bitterness;
Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern;
Feast on compassion for others.
Fast from facts that depress;
Feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from problems that overwhelm;
Feast on prayer that undergirds.
Thank you Lord for the diversity and creativity of the people we are privileged to work with around the world.
Help us Lord to be faithful and to be wise as we use our gifts for your glory. Building your Kingdom to support our partners, to seek justice for those who are without income, to support children who are unable to attend schools, for those without access to health care and especially for those without any foreseeable access to a vaccine against COVID-19.
Oh Lord, I am so brokenhearted to know of so many people who are suffering from COVID and from the loss of friends, co-workers and loved ones. Lord, we pray that those who are closest to the suffering will be comforted by you, our great Comforter. We give thanks for the generosity of the Canadian churches that allow CBM to minister to local church partners in Latin America and around the world both during the pandemic and with the focus of the future.
We know that in all things, you God, work for the good of those who love you, who have been called according to your purpose. Lord, we claim those promises of your blessings.
Lord, you are the forgiver of our sins, the healer of our diseases. We know you are the source of hope even when it is difficult to see hope. Please help us to claim the hope that you have promised.
As Jesus said, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the Good News!”
We recognize Lord that we are a people needing your salvation. In this, the first week of Lent, we pray for your forgiveness. We acknowledge our continued need for your love.