Monday, February 12, 2018

Lenten Devotion: Part 1


As Spring is Born

A Devotional Guide for Lent 2018

Compiled and Edited by Eddie Bromley and Andrea Woods

Ash Wednesday, February 14

Daily Texts: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Why do Christians give up something for Lent?  

“It is an opportunity for us to have some discipline in our life and to encounter what a sacrifice is.  Through this we have some reminiscences about some of the sacrifices Jesus made for us, but also reminder of what it’s like to yearn for something we don’t have in our lives.” - Sky McCracken

Daily Prayer:  Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.

Thursday, February 15

Daily Texts:  Psalm 25:1-10; Daniel 9:1-14; and 1 John 1:3-10

From the cowardice
that dares not face new truth,

From the laziness that is
contented with half truth,

From the arrogance that thinks
it knows all truth,

Good Lord, deliver me.

prayer from Kenya
UMC Hymnal, p. 597

Lent is a time for self-reflection and examination of the soul, a 40-day liturgical season inspired by Jesus’ forty days in the desert when he was coming to understand the role for which God had consecrated him.  Just as Jesus was challenged in that wilderness to confront a number of temptations, we are challenged to face up to the ways in which the world’s claim on us threatens that of God’s.

Spiritual Practice
At the end of the day, pause for a moment of reflection.  How did you recognize God’s presence in your day?  How did you respond to God’s presence?

Friday, February 16 

Daily Texts:  Psalm 25:1-10; Daniel 8:15-25a; and 2 Timothy 4:1-5

“I appreciate knowing that the ashes for Ash Wednesday come from the palms of last year’s Palm Sunday.  It brings full circle the Christian year, and the meaning of Christ throughout the year.  It also brings a sense of reverence to the beginning of the new season.  - Rhonda Murray

Daily Prayer:  Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.  

Saturday, February 17

To be forgiven by God feels like having a heavy weight lifted from the shoulders.  It is like cool water that refreshes the face on a hot summer day.  When the soul is freed from the burden of guilt and shame, there is a need to dance like we once danced, when we were young and unconcerned about looking foolish.

Daily Prayer:  Jesus, your word tells us that if we confess our sins, you are faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  May it be so.  Amen.

Sunday, February 18 - The First Sunday in Lent

Daily Texts:  Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22;

Lent began as a season of fasting and preparation for those who had converted to the faith and were preparing for baptism.  “It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness” (Book of Worship). Over the course of generations, the people of God began to recognize the need we all have of renewing our faith, and Lent became gradually a season the whole church participated in, as a way of preparing for Easter. 

Question for reflection:  Why do you think that the early Christians began to see a need for all Christians to participate in a season that had originally been meant for those joining the community of faith and for penitents needing to be reconciled to their spiritual family?  

Daily Prayer:  Dear God, there are still parts of me that need to be converted.  There are ways in which I still need to repent.  Hear the cries of my heart and have mercy on me.  In Christ’s name.  Amen.

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