In the next few days, I’ll share several ideas for making Lent meaningful for kids and teens. Some are more involved than others, and this may or may not be the right time for your family to take on “one more thing.” With that said, I have found that engaging in some form of Lenten discipline makes the journey to Easter morning rich and meaningful. The practice below is excerpted from Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home, Traci Smith (Chalice Press, 2017).
The first pillar of Lent is prayer. This practice invites families to devote 40 days (excepting Sundays) to prayer by focusing on a different word each day.
At the beginning of Lent, make a list of 40 words that your family will use to anchor your prayer practice—you can make your own list or use the words provided below. At the start of each day, take a look at the day’s word (you could cut them into strips and place them into a jar, write them on popsicle sticks, or just work your way through the list) and make sure everyone knows it. At the end of the day, gather as a family and take time to reflect on the day’s word via drawing, showing a photo that represents the word, or simply sharing how the word may have taken shape in your day. Close with a prayer of thanks for what was shared among your family members.
“The Spirit works in mysterious ways through prayer. It’s fine if the photos, drawings, and stories that come out as a result of the prayer conversation don’t feel ‘spiritual’ or don’t have anything to do with Lent. Sometimes prayers that seem to lack significance at the time come to have meaning days, weeks, or even years later.” Traci Smith
40 words for Lenten reflection: hope, strength, light, fear, love, freedom, peace, grow, quiet, dark, cold, water, witness, noise, desert, kindness, friends, strangers, heaven, wait, despair, weakness, fire, walk, crawl, run, purple, cross, grace, gift, reflection, remember, eat, shadow, want, mercy, justice, lonely, silence, resurrection.
To be added to a list of interested parents/family members or to learn more, contact me at [email protected]