Lent in a Bag

We have been giving away Lent in a Bag to families at Messy Church, Walk in Wednesday, and Broadwindsor After School Club. The bag is an interactive way of exploring Lent with things to do, read, and ponder. It is suitable for all ages to participate. You might want to join in too – and the article below helps source the objects contained in the bag and the suggestions to go with each item.

There are also some opportunities to join together with others to change communities, worship, or explore ideas.

Have a very good Lent.

Almighty God,

You showed us through the life of your Son Jesus Christ, that You are willing to do something different for the sake of generosity. Please give us hearts of compassion like yours and help us to be alert to those in need of Your transforming love. Help us to be ready to be changed ourselves as we reach out to others. Show us ways to restore our relationships, our community and our world.

We ask this, in the precious name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Lent in a Bag is an interactive way of journeying through Lent. Lent in a bag is a gift to you and gives you some different ways of focusing on God and your community during this time of preparation for Easter.


Fasting

Traditionally Lent is a time of fasting and repentance, saying sorry. Some people like to fast, perhaps abstaining from a favourite vice: chocolate, biscuits, coffee, gin? Other might fast from an activity: swearing, being late, Facebook. It can do us good to suffer a little, however does our fast benefit others and our spiritual life rather than just saving us a few quid or losing a few pounds? Perhaps ask God what might be a good thing to fast from, then ask, what good use can I put the extra time or money to?

Our other items might help you experience God and his love this Lent

Bin bag
Luke 3:10-11 And the crowds asked Jesus “what shall we then do?”. In reply he said to them whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.

A great idea from the charity shop in Bridport, the YMCA, was to donate an item each day through Lent. Here is a bag to help you. It doesn’t have to be every day but what might you be able to give away to bless someone? Donate your items to a charity of your choice. Or you could donate food items to the food bank? Or sanitary items to the Red box in St Mary’s Beaminster to relieve period poverty?

Button
Matthew 28:20 And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.

We believe God is present with us always through his Holy Spirit. A button can reminds us of God’s presence. Put your button in your pocket or sew it to your coat or bag or attach it to your key-ring. Use it to remind you of God’s presence in your life all the time. Use it as a reminder to thank God for the things you see and experience each day. Buttons are also used to join two pieces of fabric together. Use your button to help you pray for peace and unity where people or situations are adrift.

Teabag
Psalm 46:10 10 Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.

Finding space and quiet in a busy day can be hard. You could use this teabag or replace it with a drink of your choice, to carve out ten minutes space. Get your drink, find somewhere comfy to sit and just enjoy a moment on your own. Think, dream, pray, listen……let your heart and mind be still and dwell in the moment. Could you find time for this every week? Or even everyday?

Chocolate
Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.

Chocolate is a delight, reminding us of God’s generosity. This chocolate is also fairly traded, which means that those producing it were paid fairly. Lent is a good time to think about the impact our purchasing has on justice and the environment. Perhaps you could try some fairly traded products, or reduce your packaging or food miles? Join in with climate change campaigning or just make yourself more informed. How might our faith impact our everyday life such as where and how we shop?

Praying Together booklet
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

One of the best ways of getting to know God is to read the bible and talk to God in prayer. The Diocese of Salisbury has produced a short reflection for everyday in Lent taking us through parts of Luke’s Gospel. Use this book however works for you—perhaps setting aside a time at the beginning or end of the day to read it or sharing it over the dinner table in the evening. You can pick a booklet up in your local church or download it from the Salisbury Diocese website.

40 Acts Wall Chart
Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Use the family wallchart to give you some suggestions for offering acts of kindness in your community. Encourage the whole family to join in. You can download the wall chart from the following link – https://40acts.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/40-Family-Wallchart-2019.pdf 

And the website 40acts.org.uk is worth a visit for more ideas.