Take the 3x15x45 Lenten Challenge!
We started the challenge last Thursday, but it's not too late for you to join us! We’re challenging you to commit to creating 3 intentional “God encounters” per day, that would total at least 15 minutes per day, for the 45 days of Lent.
Here are some answers to questions you might have…
1) What is a ‘God-encounter'? When we say ‘God-encounter’, we are talking about you setting aside time for prayer, scripture or devotion time. And we are challenging you to do this 3 times per day for 45 days during Lent, between March 7 (the day after Ash Wednesday) and April 20 (the Saturday before Easter).
2) Are you asking for 15 minutes per ‘God-Encounter’ or a total of 15 minutes per day? You can encounter God as long as you want, but the challenge is for a minimum of 15 minutes per day. As an example, you could do 5 minutes of prayer in the morning, a 5 minute lunch devotional and 5 minutes of journaling in the evening. Or you could ponder scripture for 5 minutes in the morning, journal about what you read at lunch for 5 minutes and then do a 5 minute family devotion time in the evening. There are many ways to do it, but we’re talking about a total of 15 minutes for the day. Obviously, I encourage you to spend as much time as you can and want to . . . but the point of this challenge is consistency and cultivating the spiritual discipline of developing your relationship with Christ. By paying attention to that relationship, we desire to grow closer to Christ.
3) Can you recommend a good Lenten devotional for me to use as part of the challenge? Yes, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (www.pts.edu/devotional) has a Lenten Devotional written by the students and faculty that can be accessed in print, email, social media and an app. We also have some of these printed devotionals available in the Worship Center. This is just a recommendation. If you already have a good devotional that you like, please continue what you are doing!
4) Why 45 days? Isn’t Lent only 40 days? Well, yes and no. Lent is a period of preparation, repentance and fasting that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before Easter (Holy Saturday), but excludes Sundays. The reason they don’t count Sundays in Lent is that every Sunday is a little celebration of Christ’s Resurrection and you cannot fast when you are celebrating! So, if you subtract the Sundays, you get 40 days in Lent. But we're asking you to begin the day after Ash Wednesday and not skip the Sundays . . . so that's where we get 45 days!
We have some Challenge commitment cards available in the Worship Center on Sundays that you can place on the chest at the front of the Sanctuary, as a way of 'signing on the dotted line' and going 'all-in.' But obviously you can do the challenge whether you fill out the card or not!