A Simple, Communal Lent Journey

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Our community is taking part in this simple Lent exercise together. Will you join us?

In 1654 Pascal, the scientific and spiritual prodigy, had a moment of insight from God that was so powerful he scribbled down his experience and sewed the note into his coat where it was found 8 years later, after his death.

There are some things we want to carry with us, want to bury in our lives.

This lent (beginning February 10), to prepare our hearts to receive Christ at Easter, we’ll invite God to plant seeds in our lives in a similar way.

There are some things we want to carry with us, want to bury in our lives. @UCCMandy Click To Tweet

It’s simple:

  1. Each week, read the lectionary readings (click on the Sundays at
    Choose a word or phrase from the reading that stands out (you don’t have to know why).
  2. Write it on a tag. (We’re using these shipping tags. You could use index cards.)
  3. Carry it with you for the week (in your coat/wallet/planner, on your keychain), asking God to nurture it in your heart and life.
  4. Save the tags to reflect on during Holy Week as we prepare for Easter. If the reflection leads to a creative expression, please consider sharing it with the community!

(Adapted from a project created by Jim Robertson [email protected])


Pascal’s “Fire”


In the year of grace, 1654, on Monday, 23rd of November, Feast of St Clement, Pope and Martyr, and others in the Martyrology. Vigil of St Chrysogonus, Martyr, and others.

From about half past ten in the evening until about half past twelve.


God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,
Not of the philosophers and scholars.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
“Thy God and my God.”
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except God.
He is to be found only in the ways taught in the Gospel.
Greatness of the Human Soul.

“Righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee,
But I have known Thee.”

Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have separated myself from Him.
“They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters.”
“My God, wilt Thou leave me?”
Let me not be separated from Him eternally.

“This is eternal life, That they might know Thee, the only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”

Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.

I have separated myself from Him:
I have fled from Him,
denied Him,
crucified Him.
Let me never be separated from Him.
We keep hold of Him only by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Renunciation, total and sweet.
Total submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day’s training on earth.
“I will not forget thy words.”


I have separated myself from Him: I have fled from Him, denied Him, crucified Him. Click To Tweet
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7 responses to “Learning a “Way of Life” Is Step One in Planting a Missional Community

  1. I’ll admit this is an inspiring post. What I feel is some degree of disparity between the New Testament missionary methods (not the thrust) and this situation just in terms of the dynamic. Not sure how to say it, but the authority or certainty which seems to ooze from the ministry in the NT seems in conflict with the “lostness” of this approach. From my angle, both share the same mission (make disciples of all nations) and desire. Wondering if you see this, feel this, just chalk it up to feeling our way in a culture that is not as attuned to the Old Testament?

    1. Hey Jon, I hear what you’re saying. It seems to me that the NT telling of the missionary movement in the 1st century is focused on the work of the Spirit in the lives of the faithful and the result of their efforts as they partnered with God. The results were mixed! What the NT doesn’t tell us a lot about is how these people felt as they were being sent out to do something that had never been done before. I can imagine the same kinds of thoughts and feelings of “lostness” in the early Church as I read above in Jon’s words. But, that is not always made explicit in the NT text…

  2. For me, this post was affirming and helpful. Thanks!
    It’s going to be tempting for a small, organic expression to begin by assuming gospel formation/assimilation in it’s core team. If the gospel isn’t the engine, a new “way of life” could easily become a “new law to fulfill” or “another gospel to believe.”

  3. Thankful to have come across this. Our family has recently begun to “live out” in desire to be in relationship this way. I totally resonated with, “this is both beautiful and confusing in practice”.
    Needed this read. A truly worthwhile quest…to love God & neighbor. Rich indeed!


  4. I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul in Corinth, who when it wasn’t working to preach to Jews in synagogues, announced he would target Gentiles. He went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God (presumably Gentile). His first mentioned converts were Jewish (ha) – Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his family (Acts 18:1-17).A change in strategy was needed.
    We’ve gone next door in our city –
    Join us!

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