Introduction to Slow Lent
By Pray Editor13 Feb 2018
In the Sunday Gospels throughout Lent, we find Jesus in a number of environments: deserts, mountaintops, temples and towns. Each place plays an important part in Jesus’ journey. These reflections invite people to spend some contemplative time with Jesus in each of these places, not just on Sunday but for an entire week.
The reflections can be done in the week following the Sunday Gospel, or the week leading up to the Sunday Gospel. They are designed to take people deeper into each Gospel story, to bring Jesus’ experiences to life, and to help them reflect on what they might be saying to us today. The idea is to take Lent slowly and reflectively – to commit ourselves to spending time each day with Jesus.
Accompanying each reflection is a ‘Slow TV’ video clip. Each video takes you into a space that is similar to that which Jesus experienced in the Gospel story. They are long films, and depending on the time you have available you can choose to spend a few minutes, or longer, taking them in. The videos are a tool to help clear people’s minds from their daily tasks so they might contemplate the story more deeply. Reflective music might also be used to the same effect.
Schools or ministries that conduct a Monday morning briefing for staff could use the following reflection process on the first day of the week. The Gospel reading, daily reflection points, and video links could be provided to staff via email on each other weekday. Or you can encourage staff to sign up for the daily email below, which will feature each day’s reflections.
- Read the Gospel story.
- Read one of the reflection points.
- Put on the video or some reflective music. Spend some time reflecting on the Gospel story and the reflection point. Hint: If you’re using the video in a group setting you might want to cue it up beforehand so that an advertisement doesn’t appear while you’re watching it.
- Read the meditation on the Gospel reading. Spend a few more moments reflecting on the words.
- Finish with a prayer (e.g. Glory Be).
Other suggested uses
- The Gospel reading, video and reflection questions could also be used for students in senior classes as a weekly stillness/mindfulness exercise.
- The weekly Gospel reflections and video links could be published in school newsletters as a Lenten prayer resource for parents.