For Children during Lent
Luke 9:23 - "And he said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'"
Do your parents ever do a "spring cleaning?" Even if not in the spring, have you ever spent a day or a week doing a lot of cleaning? Maybe you were moving and you needed to make sure you didn't pack things that weren't useful anymore or broken or just wouldn't fit in the new home? Thinking about cleaning like this can help us understand what Lent is.
God's Word teaches us that we have lots of stuff in our hearts and minds that need to be cleaned out. It needs to be cleaned out because God has moved us. He has moved us out of the kingdom of darkness and into The Kingdom of His Son, Jesus! But, we cannot bring things that belong to the darkness with us into the Kingdom of Light. Can you think of some things that belong to the kingdom of darkness? Impatience, hatred, jealousy, pride, selfishness, and lies are a few. But because God is so good, He never simply tells us to get rid of things. Anytime He tells us to get rid of something, it is so that He can replace it with something better. In His Word, he tells us to "deny ourselves" and "follow him." What He means by this is, stop carrying around all that stuff that belongs to the darkness so that you can begin carrying the stuff that belongs to The Kingdom of Light! In other words, throw away your anger and He'll give you patience. Throw away your hatred and He'll teach you to be kind. Throw away your jealousy, and He'll teach you to share. And the list could go on.
Lent then, is a time for a "spring-cleaning" of our hearts and minds. It is six weeks for us to take a long look at what needs to be thrown out and replaced with things that belong to our new home. So we "give up things during Lent" (like candy, TV, etc.), not because these things are bad, but rather because they are good things we know can be set aside in order to focus on cleaning out the things that don't belong (like the anger, selfishness, etc.).
We will know what is in our hearts by paying close attention to what is coming out of our mouths, hands, and feet. If our words and actions are full of anger or selfishness, we need to ask The Holy Spirit to kill that and replace it with kindness and thoughtfulness for others. A good question to ask yourself when you see something from the kingdom of darkness coming out of your mouth, hands or feet, or rolling around in your mind is: "Do I want Jesus more than I want ______." Fill in the blank with whatever it is that is making you angry, selfish, jealous… Then pray asking the Holy Spirit to help you put to death that which does not belong and replace it with things of His Kingdom of Light.
Helpful things to memorize & think on during the Lenten "spring cleaning"
"And he said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" Luke 9:23
"Love is patient and kind;
Love does not envy or boast;
It is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things."
I Corinthians 13:4-7
"Christ be with me,
Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ deep within me,
Christ below me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right hand, Christ at my left hand,
Christ as I lie down, Christ as I arise, Christ as I stand.
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the ear of everyone who hears me."
(An excerpt from St. Patrick's Breastplate)
To consider as you "clean" during Lent:
- What is the cause of my _________________________.
(fill in emotion such as anger or jealousy)
- Do I want Jesus more than I want __________________?
(fill in answer to #1)
- Holy Spirit, help me put to death my ________ and my love
(same as #1)
for _________ , so that I might have Jesus.
(same as #2)
Liturgy of the Hours
by Stuart Townend
With ev'ry morning I will kneel to pray,
To be a blessing in this coming day
In ev'rything I say and ev'rything I do,
To wholly honour you.
At noon remind me through this day to give
My full attention to the ones I'm with,
Be mindful of those things around and those within,
And fully enter in.
Teach me the wisdom of remembering,
And give me the wisdom to forget.
Oh, teach me
To live each day for you.
And in the evening as my thoughts retell
This passing day let me remember well;
So that no bitterness takes root within my soul,
Help me to let them go.
And in the night-time may my mind be free
To truly rest and be refreshed in sleep;
And by releasing every worry, every strain,
Be free to start again.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me and before;
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in peace and Christ in storm;
Christ in hearts of all who know me,
Christ in friend and stranger all.
This song can be heard at www.stuarttownend.co.uk/song/liturgy-of-the-hours
Mark Edwards & Stuart TownendCopyright © 2014 Thankyou Music (Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, email@example.com) Townend Songs (adm. by Song Solutions Copycare firstname.lastname@example.org
|Trinity Presbyterian Church