Today is ‘Ash Wednesday’ a day etched in our Australian consciousness with bushfire season. It also mark’s the sacred time of Lent.
In the tradition of Christ followers, the 40 days of Lent, leading up to Easter, has been a time of spiritual self examination. It was also a time of learning. For those who were new in their experience of Jesus, the forty days of Lent mirrored Jesus’ own journey of forty days in the wilderness, testing his own identity and call to baptism and ministry. This process would prepare people for the initiation rite of water baptism on the morning of Easter Sunday where people would symbolically be ‘born again’, rising from the waters of death with the risen Christ.
As inner-city Baptist churches we are seeking to renew these wilderness traditions and ourselves in our own Lenten journey of discovery of what it means to follow Jesus today. We are calling it 40 ways in 40 days.(#40ways40days) It’s a mix of of reading and doing; eating and sharing. It combines self led readings and practical daily exercises for spiritual growth alongside a social media campaign and the common gatherings of our churches.
We are inviting our Partners, Volunteers and Friends to consider taking up a topic or two from the list below, to think about it and share a short paragraph about how it may connect with you, remind you of a story, initiate action or reflection or simply offer some words of wisdom. You may want to share a photo, a link, some art or a poem that reflects the theme/command of Jesus and your own personal joy or struggle.
#40ways40days involves immersing ourselves in Mark’s story of Jesus (the gospel read across the world in churches during 2014). Mark’s short story of Jesus emphases him as ‘The Human One’, an activist preacher and healer who names and casts out the demons that plauge his society. We believe this story is not just ancient words on a page but a powerful living reality whose rhythms and themes invite connection and transformation of our own stories. As a way of connecting you will be invited to read and reflect upon part of the story each day, progressing through the whole gospel.
#40ways40days is also an invitation to practice. We have focused Mark’s story around forty ‘discipleship dynamics’. One for each day. We will be considering what followers of Jesus are in Mark’s gospel experience and feel and are are asked to do, considering what issues arise and how it looks and feels to ‘follow’ in our bodies and shared lives?
FORTY WAYS IN MARK’S STORY
February 18 #1 Prepare the Way: Discipleship is a Road Movie Mark 1:1-3
February 19 #2 Understand Location: Where am I? Mark 1:1-13
February 20 #3 Find New Direction: Where am I going? (Repentance/Conversion) Mark 1:4-5, 14-15
February 21 #4 Initiation: Get Wild & Baptist Mark 1:9-13
February 22, 1st Sunday of Lent: no reflection… worship gathering….
February 23 #5A Hear the Call (Vocation): Mark 1:16-20; 2:14
#5B Hear the Call (Vocation): Mark 1:16-20; 2:14
February 24 #6 Leave your nets. Mark 1:16-20
February 25 #7 Hooking the Big Fish Mark 1:17
February 26 #8 Fight: Mark 1:21-28; 3:1-6
February 27 #9 Make Peace Meal: (Reconciliation): Mark 2:15
February 28 #10 Feast and Fast: Party Hard: Mark 2:18-22
March 1, 2nd Sunday of Lent: no reflection… worship gathering….
March 2 #11 Glean Break the Law: Mark 2:23-24
March 3 #12 Redefine Family and Culture: Mark 3:13-35; 6:1-6
March 4 #13 Flight/ Retreat (to the Sea) Mark 4
March 5 #14 Learn from the Land: Mark 4:1-34
March 6 #15 Cross to the Dark Side (Relocation): Mark 5:35-41; 6:45,47-48
March 7 #16 Fear Not, Mark 4:35-41
March 8, 3rd Sunday of Lent: no reflection… worship gathering….
March 9 #17 Straining at the Oars: Mark 6:48
March 10 #18 See and Tell Amazing stories : Mark 6:12; 3:13-14
March 11 #19 Heal and Exorcise: Mark 6:7-13
March 12 #20 Feed People: Mark 6:30-43; 8:1-21
March 13 #21 On Suffering and Death: Mark 8:31-38; 9:30-32; 10:32-34
March 14 #22 Saving and Losing life: Mark 8:34-35, 14:8 woman
March 15, 4th Sunday of Lent: no reflection… worship gathering….
March 16 #23 Great Service: Leadership and Greatness, Mark 10:44-45
March 17 #24 Putting Last Things First, Mark 9:35
March 18 #25 Pray Demons Away: Mark 9:14-29
March 19 #26 Include people who are different: Mark 9:38-41
March 20 #27 Confront Sexism: Mark 10:1-12 sexual power, minorities.
March 21 #28 Celebrate, protect and learn from Children: Mark 10:13-16
March 22, 4th Sunday of Lent: no reflection… worship gathering….
March 23 #29 Better Deformity than Conformity Mark 9:42-50
March 24 #30 Let Go of Money, (Redistribution): Mark 10:17-31
March 25 #31 Handle Power: Mark 10:35-45
March 26 #32 Sense-sational: Ears that Hear, Eyes that See, Tender Hearts… Mark 8:18-21… See the Great Structures 13:3
March 27 #33 Turn Tables/ Blockade/ Occupy: Cursing Figs
March 28 #34 Watch The Figs: Considering Figs
March 29, 5th Sunday of Lent: no reflection… worship gathering….
March 30 #35 Say Enough! to Violence (Peters Ear chop)
March 31 #36 Stay Awake
April 1 #37 Flee Naked: Mark 14:51-52 on failure
April 2 #38 Confront Denial: Mark 14: 66-72
April 3 #39 Find Hope to Start Again, Resurrection and Renewal: Mark 16: 1-8a
April 4 #40 Ecstasy and Trauma: Mark 16:8
(ps. 41. Taking Poison / Handling Snakes …Escapism and Betrayal: Mark 16:9-2 Story Telling , Happy Endings and Snake handling)
You can sign up via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org In your reply feel free to nominate one of the ‘ways’ you feel you would be willing to offer a reflection.
1. Follow Facebook Group or the website.
2. Attend Moreland / Newmarket Baptist Church during Lent/Easter