Did you get your a “Lent in a Bag?” This kit features symbols can use to start a conversation and lead prayers as we begin the Lent season. Do you need a bag use at home, or to give to a friend? Stop by the church office or contact us for more information friends@fumcah.com

  • Download Instruction Sheet
  • Instructions for Making Palm Leaf Cross

Share Your Experiences With Others!

Lent can be experienced as an individual and also in community. Try writing a word collage, make a short video, drawing, or journal your thoughts. With your permission we will share your experiences on our website and social media pages. You can pick up a free journal and pen at the church office and start writing your reflections.



Have Questions?

Contact pastor Lynn Mikels - l.mikels@fumcah.com




Suggestions For Using The Bag
Choose one night of the week and invite all those in your household to choose one of the symbols and the questions as a starting point for conversation.

Each week, in your own daily or weekly devotion, choose one of the symbols for reflection.  Hold the object or set it beside you as you read and pray.  Consider journaling your thoughts, or writing down the answers to the questions as you journey through Lent.  

If your household includes young children, you may wish to read the scripture story from a Bible storybook.  

Reflection questions for all might include:  What was your favorite part of this story?  What part of the story did you not like? Which person in the scripture would you like to meet?  What questions would you ask that person?  What might that person say to you?


Read Matthew 4: 1-12
At the beginning of Lent, we remember the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Just after his baptism, Jesus journeyed in the wilderness for 40 days. More than just a time of testing, it was the time when Jesus was able to focus on who he was and what his mission was to be.  While a wilderness can be desolate, it can also be beautiful.  Touch the sand and think about wilderness.
What constitutes wilderness in your life? What did you learn (or might you learn) there? When do you need time apart or time of solitude? When have you been tempted? How do you deal with those people and things that are life-diminishing?

Read Matthew 5:14-16
Lent often arrives in the cold and dark of winter. We long for the arrival of spring, imagining sunshine and flowers blooming; new life all around. Yet, whatever the season, we can remember that God’s light is always with us. In his darkest times, before his crucifixion, Jesus remembered that God’s light was with him. We too are bearers of God-light.  We can share that light with others.
Jesus is, according to John’s gospel, “The Light of the World’ and that Light insists: ‘You are the light of the world. Don’t be hiding under some bushel basket.’  Where do you shine? How do you keep your light lit?"  What is your talent? How do you encourage others to see the good in themselves?

Read John 11:1-44
In Jesus’ day, people were usually buried in caves or in tombs that were cut into a wall of stone and sealed with a large rock.  Family members were often buried in the same tomb, not unlike the practice in our country of family mausoleums. The tombs always remained sealed until another member of the family died. When Jesus arrives at Lazarus’ tomb, he asks that the stone be removed, prays, and commands, “Lazarus, come out!”  He then instructs that Lazarus be unbound from his grave cloths and set free.   
What things “bind” you now?  From what would you like to be set free?  Is it an attitude, an outdated belief, a relationship?  What would give you freedom to fully live as God’s beloved son or daughter?
Read Matthew 13:31-32 or Luke 13:18-19
Parable of the Mustard Seed
Watching the growth of a flower reminds us of the miracle of hope and transformation that is part of the promise of Easter.  The seeds themselves change; they decay as they are transformed into something new.  When we plant seeds, we are sometimes surprised by what grows and flowers.  Think about change: When do we long for change?  When are we hoping that nothing ever changes?
What seems hopeless in your life right now?  Where are you experiencing hope right now?  Where is there mystery, something unknown, or something about which you are uncertain?  Where would you like to experience transformation or change?

Read Mark 14:3-9
In his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, the poet-priest author, John O’Donohue writes about retrieving the lost art of blessing.  “What is a blessing? A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen. .... The beauty of blessing is its belief that it can affect what enfolds.”  Using the scented oil, bless others in your household with a cross on the forehead or the back of a hand.
If Jesus came to your home tonight, what gift would you want to give him?  What could you do to bless Jesus today? In what ways are you like/unlike the people in this story?  For what would you like to be remembered?  

Palm Frond
Read John 12:12-18
From a triumphant parade with palm leaves to death on a cross, Holy Week is filled with emotion.  In the Protestant tradition, empty crosses remind us that a means of death can become a symbol of new life.  Use your palm leaf from Sunday worship – or pick one up at church – and make your own cross for Holy Week.  
If Jesus entered your home now, what would you shout?  What have  you praised Jesus for in the past?   What do  you praise Jesus for today?  How is Holy Week meaningful to you?  What might you do to grow closer to God this week?


Last Published: February 18, 2018 9:30 AM