Last year I started Lent with a very complicated set of “resolutions” (Didn’t listen to the advice of the document overleaf!) My good intentions all fell apart, but on the spur of the moment one morning, I decided to give up shaving.
I have always found that I can only go a few days without shaving before the itching gets the better of me. But I told myself that every time I itched, I would remind myself that Jesus couldn’t scratch His face when He was was on the cross. Every time I saw my face in the mirror I’d remind myself that I need to look more like Jesus, and as the hard hairs got softer, I’d pray that God would give me a softer heart.
(A nice side effect was that the beard-in-progress led to a number of conversations and allowed me to talk about what I was doing and why in a very natural and easy way.)
So I’m doing the beard thing again this year and I’m focussed on three things:
To really respect what He did on the cross for me.
To try and be more like Him in how I treat others.
To get a softer heart that bends to God’s will.
Our challenge to you is to join in by growing a beard or a moustache for Lent. If you already have a beard, shave it off and start afresh or shave for the whole of Lent. If the beard/hair thing is not for you, think of something you can do that will help you meet these three challenges:
Think about Jesus’ sacrifice
Try to be more like Him in your actions
Soften your heart.
In the Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring was the group of souls who undertook the brave journey that is at the heart of the book. They encouraged one another and supported one another. Our hope is that the “fellowship of the beard “(tongues firmly in our cheeks) can do the same for the journey of Lent.
Those who join the fellowship will do do five things:
Grow a beard for Lent – or some other physical activity
I’m going to ask all the guys participating to email me their devotional thoughts or insights and I’ll send out a weekly compilation.
You’ll get sms challenge/thoughts from time to time.
You’ll be given the name of one of the guys in the fellowship to pray for.
Gather together on two early Saturday (dates to be advised) mornings for a coffee and time of prayer.
You might be concerned about doing such a visible thing, especially when we remember that Jesus warned people not to do things purely for show or pride. This is obviously a danger. For me it was solved by telling my story about the whiskers helping me think about what Jesus did on the cross for me.
If you want to join the “Hairy Fellowship”, please SMS me on 0825510752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org