Making Space for Christ Throughout Lent

Day 1 (Ash Wednesday): Pray for your enemies.

Day 2: Start a gratitude journal, writing down 5 things each day that you are thankful for.

Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio. In the quiet, pray for people who are hungry.

Day 4: Give $20 to a non-profit of your choice.


[Sunday, March 1]

-> This week, write in your gratitude journal each day. Being grateful for what you already have is an important way to fend off wanting more. Actually write it down, so you can go back and look later! If you want, share what you wrote with a loved one.

Day 5: Reach out to someone who is sick or in need of companionship.

Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before.

Day 7: Give 5 clothing or household items to the South Wedge Mission’s Free Store.

Day 8: Notice your trash today and see how much you accumulate. Think of ways to reduce waste. (Could you have composted something? Used something reusable instead of single-use?)

Day 9: Stop saving items to “read later.” Read it now or recycle it.

Day 10: Buy a few $5 fast food gift cards to give to homeless people you encounter.


[Sunday, March 8]

-> This week, take 5-minute showers, and/or have some no-shower days. Many people in the world don’t have access to clean water at all, yet we in the Western world tend to waste it.

Day 11: Call an old friend.

Day 12: “Pray the Paper” (pray for people and situations in today’s news).

Day 13: Read Psalm 139. Memorize one verse that speaks to you.

Day 14: Pay a few sincere compliments.

Day 15: Think about the first thing you touch in the morning. How much value does it have compared to everything else (including people) you touch today?

Day 16: Spend 10 minutes looking at the sky, trees, and land, and give thanks for creation.


[Sunday, March 15]

-> This week, incorporate rest into your daily routine, even if it is just taking 2 minutes of quiet once every hour, or finding 15 minutes to sit quietly. Use this time to rejuvenate and be with God, whatever that looks like to you.

Day 17: Forgive someone. Or, apologize to someone.

Day 18: Write someone a hand-written letter.

Day 19: Change one light in your house to a compact florescent.

Day 20: Take a walk with someone you love, or a new friend.

Day 21: Schedule a more significant Sabbath in your day. It should be a 6-to-1 ratio, with one hour of rest to 6 hours of work. Use the time for meditation, retreat, Bible study, or volunteering.

Day 22: For two hours, turn off all devices (phone, computer, etc.). Use this time to play a game with your family, call an old friend, or have a conversation – in short, to connect with people you love.


[Sunday, March 22]

-> This week, set aside a chunk of time to tackle one category of “stuff” in your house (clothes, kitchen, hobby room…), and decide what to discard. Ask yourself, “Does this item add value to my life? Does it spark joy in me?” If the answer is no, and it is good shape, then donate it to the South Wedge Mission’s “Free Store” (donations taken 4:30-6pm on Wednesdays). Otherwise, throw it out.

Day 23: Introduce yourself to a neighbor.

Day 24: Read Psalm 121. Memorize a verse that is meaningful to you.

Day 25: Bring your own reusable mug/water bottle/takeout containers. If you don’t have these, acquire them.

Day 26: Make a meal completely from scratch.

Day 27: Don’t buy anything today. Give thanks for what you already have.

Day 28: Light a candle and say a prayer for someone you have seen recently who is in need.


[Sunday, March 29]

-> This week, try having two meatless days. Water used to raise livestock accounts for 40% of water consumption in the US (compared to 13% for domestic use like showers and toilets), and livestock are responsible for most of the methane gas and ammonia put into our atmosphere. If a four-person family skips steak just once a week, it has the same environmental impact as taking your car off the road for nearly three months. (Plus, it’s good for you!)

Day 29: Write a thank you note to your favorite teacher.

Day 30: Commit to refusing a straw when you eat out. Buy silicone or stainless-steel ones and carry them with you. While you’re at it, bring your own silverware, rather than using plastic.

Day 31: Use Freecycle to get rid of stuff you don’t want.

Day 32: Donate art supplies to an elementary school, locally or in Rochester City.

Day 33: Read John 8:1-11. Memorize a verse that is meaningful to you.

Day 34: Smile at people today, because your glass is half full! It’s a great practice, and it can make someone’s day.


[Sunday, April 5]

-> This week, try to shop local whenever possible. Go to the public market or a local bakery, talk to the farmers who grow the food, buy products made in New York, support local business. One of the biggest oil impacts on the earth is transportation of food and goods. Buying local takes out that middle step that is so expensive (financially and environmentally).

Day 35: Extend small kindnesses to people today: pay for someone’s coffee, open or hold the door, give someone your place in line.

Day 36: Eat no sugar today, and reflect: where else is there sweetness in your life?

Day 37: Give $20 to a local non-profit.

Day 38: Pray for peace.

Day 39: Educate yourself about a different religion. See how it is the same or different from your own.

Day 40: Pray for your enemies (maybe you have new ones by now) then decide which of these exercises you’ll keep for good.