Lent 2023 – Read, Contemplate & Respond
Lenten Responsive VISUAL Journal
During Lent this year, we are sharing with you a new way to read and respond to readings from the book of Mark with a daily practice of responding in a visual journal. The book of Mark walks us through much of Jesus’ earthly ministry and his death and resurrection. While simple, it is also powerful and cultivates a deeper understanding of the life-changing, personal sacrifice Jesus made for our sins.
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You may be wondering “What is visual journaling?” A visual journal sometimes called a faith journal, is reading scripture, prayers or faith meditations and responding to them in a sketchbook-style journal. This response can be in any type of art medium you choose. You may choose to sketch, paint, write or collage as your response. Really any creative process will work, you do not need to be “artistic”. In other words, the focus is on the journey rather than the destination.
This Lenten journal practice will help us read His word in a new spiritual way. All we need is a desire to have God come closer to us. Daily journaling helps us to re-orient ourselves and change our focus to center on God helping us to live in the present and in his peace. You may discover that this simple daily routine will begin to bring you peace, and a space for being with and hearing God. Give it a try and see what happens!
To do the full 40 days, the readings will start on Ash Wednesday and end on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, minus the Sundays in between. This daily practice can easily be modified into what works for you. Families can read the daily readings together or check out the links to other family-friendly activities below.
Thanks to Pam Hoyt and Tamara Hansen for putting this all together!
A new, “old” way to read scripture
Read – Contemplate – Respond
Have you ever heard of Lectio Divina? “Lectio Divina,” a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. It is an age-old method of praying the Scriptures. Lectio Davina is about active listening which engages both a response and a lasting peace. This is how it works:
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Begin by finding a place that is peaceful, comfortable, and quiet your thoughts.
It may be a good idea to silence your cell phone. Read the passage, maybe more than once, maybe try it out loud. Imagine through your senses what it may have been like to be there. What sounds are around you? What smells? What textures do you feel? What do you see? What emotions do you feel?
– Contemplate –
Spend thought time with the reading, choose the word or a short phrase that stands out to you. Perhaps one that triggers a memory, a concern, or a joy. Did you hear the reading in a new light? Did it make you aware of something you need to examine in your life?
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Now respond to your thoughts and feelings in the following ways-
– In a visual journal, use any medium you like such as pencil, pen, sketching, paint, or collage. This is your personal response to God’s words. It is not about creating a work of art. It is responding through creative means.
– In your journal write your thoughts or respond with a prayer or reflection on what was revealed and what it means to you.