Preparing for Lent and Ash Wednesday

February 1st, 2014

Lent: A Yearly Reminder of the Daily Call to Come Home is a series of seven writings that incorporate guided imagery, prayer, and questions to use in worship or in your small group.


Lent is a journey home. Home to the heart of God. To begin, this journey requires that we stop and notice which direction we are going if we're not going home to God!

Close your eyes and with your mind's eye, picture the place where you stop where you are going. Take in the surroundings, is it a familiar place or a new place? What do you notice—see, smell, hear, touch, taste, what feelings are stirred?

Now see Jesus meeting you in this place of stopping. Although we are the ones who need to come home, thankfully we do not make the journey alone. Allow yourself to be greeted by Jesus, you might also greet Him. Is there anything He wants to say to you in this place? Anything He wants to show you about this place?

Allow the scene to unfold for a few moments and then close with this prayer.


God, we remember through Ash Wednesday how prone we are to get lost and through Lent, how You are always calling us home. Yet for many of us it is hard to return home to Someone we don't know, have forgotten or fear. Remind us once again or for the first time of the sound of Your voice. “Here is the Voice you're to return to,” said Your prophet Joel to Israel, “The Lord is merciful and compassionate, very patient, full of faithful love, and ready to forgive.”

As we journey, especially when it is hard, remind us who You are, Lord. We pause in silence to listen once again and allow the prophet's words to make their own journey from our minds to our hearts.
You, our God, are:
very patient
full of faithful love
ready to forgive.

(20 seconds or ~ of silence)

With Jesus as our guide, we are ready to stop going our own way, to turn around, and come home.


  • Download (for free) the scriptures and study notes from the CEB Study Bible below
  • Do you believe the prophet Joel's description of the Lord found in Joel 2:12-13? Which aspect is most difficult for you to trust? Ask God to reveal or remind you of this part of God's self.
  • As you review your life at the moment (or reflect on how the place you imagined at the beginning intersects with your life right now), what part of you needs to stop where it's going, turn around, and start heading home?
  • Putting ashes on the head is a sign of humility, being sorry. Weeping and fasting not only express humble sorrow but they offer cleansing of our hearts, minds & bodies which creates space for God. What are some ways God is inviting you to cleanse and create space during Lent?

The complete series and audio are available here.

comments powered by Disqus