Lenten Challenge

Lenten Week 1 (Feb. 26-Feb. 29)—Repentance

            Scripture for the Week: Luke 5:27-32; 2 Timothy 2:14-26

            Possible ways to observe Repentance:

  • Attend church on Ash Wednesday
  • Wear ashes on Ash Wednesday as a reminder that “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
  • Spend some time reflecting on areas of your life where you have struggled with sin.
  • Ask God to forgive your sin and help you to resist that sin in the future.
  • Consider scheduling a private confession/absolution session with Pastor.
  • Apologize to anyone you have wronged. Ask for their forgiveness.
  • Fast from food or a regular habit (ex. TV, video games). Use the time you would have spent on that thing to pray and study Scripture.
  • Other ideas:

Lenten Week 2 (March 2-March 7)–Study

            Scripture for the Week: Ephesians 6:10-18

            Possible ways to observe Study:

  • Read your Bible daily.
  • Write out a meaningful Bible verse and post it in a place you will see often throughout your day (ex. bathroom mirror, kitchen cabinet).
  • Listen to a podcast about theology or the Bible. There are many options available; some possibilities are Issues, Etc., The Word of the Lord Endures Forever, or any of the podcasts/shows available on the websites of Pirate Christian Radio, Lutheran Hour Ministries, or KFUO .
  • Have daily devotions with your family or read a daily devotional.
  • Pick a hymn from the hymnal and compare the lyrics with the verses listed at the bottom of the page.
  • Attend a Bible study group—St. Andrew offers the following: Sunday morning after church, mens group on Mondays at 7, moms/parents every Wednesday at 9:15.  Off site opportunities are also available—contact Michelle Buehler and Sandy Ruback for times and locations. If you would like to be a part of one but the current times do not work, notify the church office—perhaps we can plan one that fits with your schedule.
  • Read or listen to an audiobook about faith in Christ.
  • Read a question or section from Luther’s Small Catechism daily.
  • Memorize a Bible verse this week.
  • Other ideas:

Lenten Week 3 (March 9-March 14)–Prayer

            Scripture for the Week: Matthew 6:5-15

            Possible ways to observe Prayer:

  • Say a different meal prayer than you normally do.
  • Pray when you wake up. Luther’s Morning Prayer is a possibility if you need an guide.
  • Pray when you go to bed. Luther’s Evening Prayer is a possibility if you need a guide.
  • Rather than listening to music while driving in the car, spend some quiet time praying while you drive.
  • Ask a Christian co-worker to join with you in prayer for those at your workplace/school.
  • Pick a Psalm to include as part of your prayers.
  • Fast from food or a regular habit (ex. TV, video games). Use the time you would have spent on that thing to pray and study Scripture.
  • Begin a prayer jar or bowl—write down each person or thing you would like to regularly pray for on a separate paper, fold the paper, and place in the jar. When you pray, use the papers in your jar as a reminder.
  • Spend at least 10 minutes per day in prayer.
  • Pray for our country, state, town, and politicians (whether you agree with them or not).
  • Pray for persecuted Christians and people seeking Christ in hostile cultures/environments.
  • Pray for our church (St. Andrew, the South Wisconsin District, the LCMS, and the larger church in the world). Pray for pastors, those serving in leadership roles in the church, and the spreading of God’s Word.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor whether they have any prayer requests. If they do, offer to pray with them.
  • Other ideas:

Lenten Week 4 (March 16-March 21)–Give

            Scripture for the Week: Deuteronomy 15:7-11; 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15

            Possible ways to observe Give:

  • Pick a wish list item at church and consider giving a few extra dollars toward that item.
  • Clean out a cabinet, drawer or closet in your home and donate any unneeded items to a local charity (ex. St. Vincent DePaul).
  • Pay for the person behind you at a fast food restaurant or checkout line.
  • Leave double the normal tip for a waiter.
  • Buy some extra food for the food pantry. Deliver it directly there or leave it in the food pantry baskets at church.
  • Give some time and help a neighbor with something they may need (yard work, ride to the doctor, etc.).
  • Send a card to a friend or family member, just because.
  • Cook a double portion of dinner one evening and share part of it with a friend or neighbor who is having a difficult time.
  • Check the Easter breakfast signup at church—is there anything you can help donate or a way you can help on Easter morning?
  • Consider all of the “behind the scenes” work that happens at church—is there a way that you can give your time and talents to help out? Some activities that always need willing helpers are ushers, readers, musical groups, altar guild, service on church boards, and Sisters in Christ.
  • Other ideas:

Lenten Week 5 (March 23-March 28)–Proclaim

            Scripture for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

            Possible ways to observe Proclaim:

  • Say hello to everyone you see one day.
  • Read a Bible story or sing a hymn to your child or grandchild.
  • Post a Bible verse on social media.
  • Hang a yard flag in your yard with a Bible verse or Christian symbol.
  • Mention God in a few more conversations this week.
  • Make a point to carefully listen this week as you talk to others—this may help you understand how you can most effectively share your hope in Christ.
  • Write an encouraging note on the bottom of a restaurant receipt (ex. “Jesus loves you!”).
  • Partake in Holy Communion—see 1 Cor. 11:26.
  • Pray this week that God will provide you an opportunity to share your faith with someone. When that time comes, pray that God guides your conversation and gives you the best words to say.
  • Other ideas:

Lenten Week 6 (March 29-April 4)–Invite

            Scripture for the Week: Luke 14:12-24

            Possible ways to observe Invite:

  • Invite Jesus to your dinner table, set an extra place for him.
  • Invite a neighbor or friend to join you for coffee, a meal, a book discussion, a card game, a hike, or any other activity you think would be helpful to build your relationship.
  • Invite someone to join you for the Soup Supper and midweek service, or another church event.
  • Share a Christian book, music, website, or podcast recommendation with someone.  Offer to discuss it after they have read/listened to it!
  • List or link the Holy Week worship schedule on social media.
  • Invite someone to join you for Holy Week and/or Easter worship.
  • Other ideas:

Holy Week (April 6-April 11)–Worship

            Scripture for the Week: Psalm 95:1-7

            Possible ways to observe Worship:

  • Listen to Christian music while driving in the car or cooking or cleaning at home.
  • Attend Holy Week services at church.
  • Carve out a few minutes each day to do nothing but sit in silence and pray.
  • Observe (or establish) a family tradition to maintain focus on the meaning of Easter.
  • Hold daily personal or family devotions. Light a candle while you do so, to remind yourself that Jesus is the Light of the World.
  • Pick a hymn to sing this week and sing it daily! Meditate on the verses.
  • Read the accounts of Holy Week/Christ’s death and resurrection in the Bible.
  • Attend Easter worship! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
  • Other ideas: