Habits of Light for a World of Darkness
WHAT IS LENT?
Lent is the season on the church calendar that comes just before Easter. It is 40
days long. While there are many ways that Lent is described & observed, it is typically in preparation for Easter with a focus on restraint & meditating on the suffering of Jesus.
WHY THE COMMON RULE? Because the Common Rule habits emphasize restraint, Lent
can be a great time to try out the habits of the Common Rule with a group. Also, the six-week timeframe of Lent is the perfect length for new habit formation. Finally, it’s also a wonderful way to make Easter more of a celebration, because you spend all of Lent preparing and then celebrate with friends.
HOW TO START? It may be the beginning of Lent, or you may be a couple weeks in already. Either way, it’s never too late to start. Pick up wherever you are. Here’s what you can do:
STEP 1: Get your Group Together
This might be a small group, a friend group, or an entire congregation. Whichever it is, meet up with them and watch this video to get an introduction to the Common Rule.
STEP 2: Review the Habits
The best way to do this is by reading a copy of The Common Rule. You can also review the habits on the website, at www.thecommonrule.org. Make sure everyone subscribes to the mailing list on the website, as I will be sending out weekly meditations and suggestions on the habits.
STEP 3: Visualize the Days and the Weeks
It’s really helpful for all to see how the Common Rule will alter your days and weeks. Below is a sample daily and monthly template (customized to Lent, 2019) so your group members can see how they’ll be arranging their days. Use these templates and customize it if that helps.
STEP 4: Embrace Community and Failure
Two of the main lessons of the Common Rule is that the good life is the communal life, and that anything worth trying is hard and involves failure. This includes following Jesus. As for community, ideally your group should be meeting every week to share experiences and pray.
As for failure, you should remind each other that the goal is not to check off some habits, but to fail together, experience grace, learn and become formed more in the Gospel of Jesus.
I’m so glad you’re reading about and trying the Common Rule habits. I hope it helps you lean into a life full of the love of God and neighbor.
With much hope, Justin Whitmel Earley
adopted from thecommonrule.org
Begin Lent Devotional Here: