Welcome to our Lent Retreats page. You are welcome to use these resources in whichever way you find most helpful.
The retreat is divided into sections. You can use them over a day, over several days or weeks, by yourself or with others. This section has some useful tools to help you start your retreat. Here are some ideas for creating sacred space and for praying with scripture. They can be used individually or with others.
By Desert Paths
One of our Lent hymns begins:
“With joy and by the Spirit led the Church of Christ seeks desert paths.”
The words often come into my mind as we move through Lent. They evoke something of the essence of the season and take me back to it’s heart. They recall the Iraelites setting out into the uncertainty of the wilderness as they journey to the promised land. They remind me of Jesus driven or led by the Spirit into the desert after his baptism to be tempted by Satan and ministered to by angels.
It also calls us to take the same path, to journey through our own inner deserts, those dark, harsh, broken places within that we would prefer to avoid.
It’s always tempting to focus on the harshness of those desert places. We can get so caught up in the challenges and struggles that we can lose sight of the other side of the desert experience. It is also a place of blessing and grace of hidden treasure. The Israelites face plenty of tempttions and failures in the wilderness. They are also nurtured tenderly by a loving and faithful God both materially and spiritually.
Jesus has a similar experience. His desert experience is full of temptation and struggle as he battles with Satan. Yet it is also a place of blessing for him, as he is ministered to and cared for by angels.
It’s also true for us as we travel through our own deserts. There are plenty of challenges, temptations, struggles and failures. But they can also be places of rich blessing, where we can allow ourselves to be nurtured, held and healed by the ever present love of God.
Children of the day
Loving God, as we journey through Lent nourish and sustain us in our desert times; As you quenched the thirst of the Israelites fulfil our desire to be in your presence, and bring us safely to the joy of Resurrection.
Begin your retreat by watching the video. There are some questions for reflection and a copy of the text below.
What darkness is Christ calling you to leave behind this Lent?
Where are you aware of God turning hardships into blessings in your life?
How is new life being breathed into you this Lent?
Read Exodus 17: 1 – 7
“Moses cried out to the Lord.”
Where are you “Crying out” to the Lord?
“I shall be waiting for you.”
Where are you discovering the God who waits for you this Lent?
“Strike the rock and water will flow out of it, so that the people may drink” What nourishes and sustains you as we journey through Lent?
A new heart
Read Ezekiel 36: 24 — 28
“I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.”
What is your response to the promise of being cleansed?
“I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh.”
What change of heart do you desire this Lent.
“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and be careful to observe my ordinances.”
In what ways might the indwelling of God’s spirit transform your life?
Read Mark 1: 12 – 15
“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness”
Where does the Spirit compel you to visit your inner wilderness?
“He was with the wild animals, and the angels looked after him.”
What hidden treasures do you discover in your wilderness times?
“The kingdom of God is close at hand.”
Where are you aware of the closeness of the kingdom in your life this Lent?
God of love, as we face the challenges and temptations of Lent enable us to discover the treasure of your presence in our hearts and our lives.