The Disciple’s ‘Spring Training!’

February 24, 2012 — Leave a comment

The 40 day Journey known throughout much of Church history as Lent could be called the Christian disciple’s”Spring Training!” (Lent means “spring” or lengthening)  It’s getting ourselves more fit and strong and disciplined for the “regular season” of following Jesus. Sounds a little like a Game Plan!

In the Scriptures the number 40 appears often. For us, the Season of Lent is an invitation to 40 days of renewal, 40 days to prepare ourselves to take in The Great Story through deeper disciplines of prayer, fasting, and acts of compassion.

For teaching on fasting, see this previous post.

For Scripture Readings, this year I invite you to join an ancient practice of reading through these biblical books during the Lenten season:
Psalms – 5 each week day will complete all 150.
Genesis – creation and fall of humanity.
Proverbs – one each week day, a dose of the Divine Wisdom.Isaiah – chapters  1-12 and 40-66, the “Old Testament Gospel”.
Hebrews – understanding the unfolding drama of salvation – the Old Testament fulfilled in the New.

NOTE: During this Lenten Season – I will post brief daily readings from Hebrews on Twitter – so feel free to follow me.

Especially in this season I seek to daily use the 4th Century Prayer of Ephraim the Syrian. You may want to incorporate this into your “prayer rule” each day along with the Lord’s Prayer and meditate on it as a kind of checklist of those things that both poison and energize the spiritual life.

O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth and apathy,
faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity and wholeness,
humility, patience, and love to Your servant.
O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors
and not to judge my brother;
For You are blessed forever, to ages of ages.  Amen

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