A note from Brandy Knutson

This is the first year that I have ever participated in Lent. To be honest, I didn't really know what it was or why it was meaningful before this year. I didn't grow up in a church that practiced Lent or included it as a part of their Easter season. So this has been a new adventure for me.

After hearing about it a few Sundays ago, I decided to do a little more research. And I have to say that I am really grateful for the time that our content team put into making Lent resources this year. (Check out the Lent resources here.) That along with some googling, led me to a desire to lean into Lent with a new perspective.

This year for Lent I decided to fast from listening to music in the car. This is hard for me. I love music. All music. I love the language of music and how it connects my emotions to melodies and lyrics. There are many things about music that connect me with God's heart in so many ways. But... I also know that I'm spending more time in the car than usual in this season of my life and I wanted to give that time to God in a new way. So instead of listening to music, I open my YouVersion Bible app and I listen to the narrator read the Bible as I drive.

I must confess, I have never been into audiobooks. I love the idea of them and I want to like them, but typically I need to hold whatever book I'm reading in my hands or my mind wanders. So this new practice of listening to someone else read God's Word to me, takes a tremendous amount of effort. It's not easy. I often have to restart the chapter, but it's amazing the different things that I'm picking up on while I'm taking in bigger chunks of scripture. I'm hearing themes and details I've never recognized before when I'm reading it myself. It's still a struggle to stay present, but I know that this focused time with God is stretching me in new ways, and I'm grateful for it.

I'm not saying that you need to try this, you can if you want to. But what I would encourage you to d, is take some time this weekend to contemplate your relationship with God. Is there a new way that He is calling you to connect with Him? Is there a person that He is asking you to show His compassion to that you've been avoiding? What is one way that you can prioritize your relationship with Him in a new way? What has He been laying on your heart? My encouragement to you is to do some digging and to lean in to what God has for you in this season as Easter approaches.

I'll leave you with Romans 15:13:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Brandy Knutson
Communications | Hope City Church