Tag Archive: Lent observance


DAY 32

The Bible mentions seven things that Jesus says while hanging on the cross. I found this online site that looks at each statement [calling each one a ‘word’] and thought it would be a great resource for us as we head towards Easter.

Task: Meditate and reflect on ‘The fifth word of Jesus.’

The fifth word is based on Jesus’ words in John 19. 28-29

“I am thirsty.”

Spend some time of reflection on the elements of this 6 page powerpoint presentation as we reflect together on the second word Jesus spoke on the cross.

thirst

[For the next post in this Lent series, click here]

40ish Days of Lent: Day 30-31

DAY 30-31

Okay, so this one is more for me than anyone else reading and following, but maybe you can figure out your own that relates, so forgive me my self-ness…

Task: Take a break from the somewhat stressful task of creating 40 Lent Observance posts in a row.

i think i just need a bit of a breather and on a Saturday when i remarkably don’t have anything to plan for tomorrow it feels like a good day just to soak and chill and finish a jigsaw with my beautiful wife and read some Terry Pratchett and get out and enjoy the sunshine and not compile anything for this.

Normal service will resume on Monday but hopefully you too can use this weekend to just chill and be a bit…

If you really are wanting a Lent Observance maybe go back and pick up one you missed or redo one of the meditation reflections.

[To view the next post in this Lent Observance, click here]

DAY 28

So great to see my good mate Bruce Collins blog-posting again [so great i couldn’t help but dive in and steal what he wrote] and so i hope you enjoy this prayer to meditate on from his Thanksgiving Series post 1 and i really hope you will head across to his page and subscribe so you can follow the rest of them.

Task: Read and reflect on this prayer which is definitely so relevant and resonative for me right now:

Jesus,

Thank you for being in control; for being God. I desire to desire you. I desire to be in a place of awe and renewed understanding of your greatness. I desire to live for you and not the affection of man. Your power and your glory overwhelm. And your love? What is that love? Where does it come from? I cannot fathom it or even understand why you would want to love me. But, thank you. Our world understands fickle, fleeting, changing affection but your love is called steadfast. What reassurance. What peace comes from that? I desire to love you as you love me. I desire to love you so much that my life doesn’t even matter. I fear I have prioritised so many things above you that I’ve lost my comprehension of how deep and sacrificial your love for me really is. WHAT you do for and in us flows out of WHO you are.

I am grateful that you are I AM; God.

I desire for my life to bless you; to bring glory to you.

Amen

Don’t rush it – the point is not ‘getting through another post’ – take time on it, read it again, go line by line, focus on individual words and phrases if necessary. If you don’t mean it right now, then let your prayer be one of asking God to make that prayer real for you right now. Enjoy.

[For the next Lent observance post in this series, click here]

 

 

DAY 27

The Bible mentions seven things that Jesus says while hanging on the cross. I found this online site that looks at each statement [calling each one a ‘word’] and thought it would be a great resource for us as we head towards Easter.

Task: Meditate and reflect on ‘The second word of Jesus.’

The second word is based on Jesus’ words in Luke 23:39-43:

‘Truly, I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.’

Spend some time of reflection on the elements of this 6 page powerpoint presentation as we reflect together on the second word Jesus spoke on the cross.

paradise

[For the next Lent Observance post, click here]

pain

DAY 26

Today has been a really hard day for me for two reasons. One has been physical and one has been mental/emotional/spiritual.

Physically i have had a huge splitting headache for most of the day and that is not normal for me, nor has it been fun.

Mentally/emotionally/spiritually today was probably my worst day on Facebook [and maybe being in pain already didn’t help] as i got into an exchange with two people professing to be Christians on the blog post my friend wrote about abortion, who just came across so legalistically and judgementally towards my friend and then to me when i stepped in, accusing me of a whole lot of things which were not true [clearly not people who know me] and just holding so tightly on to law with what felt like a complete absence of love.

“No, I am not condoning sin. What i am saying is that whether the person sinned or not, our response to them has to be a loving one.”

And so on. That kind of stuff doesn’t usually get to me which is why i kept engaging with them for so long i think. But then i think ultimately it did and largely because of the seriously bad name they were giving to Christianity. I came so close to blocking the one guy which i rarely ever do, washing my hands and walking away from it, but deep in my heart i just have such a love and hope for people that i really just keep believing they will change and encounter God and somehow get a glimpse of His transforming Love, that i kept at it for a while.

Task: So the challenge for today is to encounter God through some pain you have.

Now for some of you this may be easy as the pain, like mine, may be in your face. Maybe it is a health issue or maybe it is the loss of someone dear to you recently or a friend who just got really bad news again concerning their health [yup, me too!]. In the midst of the current pain, instead of running from it, take some time today to focus on it and on the fact that in the midst of pain God has promised to draw near and be there. IT MAY NOT FEEL LIKE HE IS. But He is.

Psalm 34.18 ‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’

Psalm 23.4 ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

Joshua 1.9 ‘ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’

And more.

There may be some of you who are not facing any pain at the moment. I want to encourage you to either look back to a time when pain was real for you or else to think of someone you really care about who is facing some sort of pain right now. And find God within the pain.

As we observe Lent we are heading closer and closer to the time when we remember what Jesus picked up and took on, on His own accord. We know that He embraced the deepest kind of pain and separation so that we don’t have to. Let that thought direct you as you meditate through the pain.

Let Philippians 2 assist you:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

[For the next post, day 27 of this Lent Observance, click here]

When you’re weary…

weary

DAYS 23-24ish

As we head into the weekend again i have combined today and tomorrow into one post. Please use accordingly.

They say ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ although i would say sometimes that ‘Familiarity breeds familiarity’ which means that sometimes things that are completely profound, can lose some of their depth and meaning [for us] simply because we see them so many times that we get used to them and possibly skim over them and in one way take them for granted.

Task: The task for this weekend is simply to take a Psalm you probably know really well and read it slowly, more purposefully and a few times through, meditating on each line and trying to see it with fresh eyes. Read it out loud and the let the words speak to you and remind you of the promises of God to you.

DAY 23

For this weekend’s Lent observance I am focusing on the theme of brokenness or despair using two very powerful psalms – this one is my absolute favourite and every single line pretty much has a depth of theology to it so really take your time and work through it line by line.

Psalm 34

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

One of my favourite verses in the bible is verse 34 which suggests to me that no matter how far down you go [a broken heart or a crushed spirit seem like two of the lowest places, fight] God is still there and He is ready to save:

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

DAY 24ish

i feel like this psalm is a lesser known one but also speaks to a place of despair and confusion and invites hope in God as the One who ultimately rescues and transforms:

Psalm 30

I will exalt you, Lord,
    for you lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Lord my God, I called to you for help,
    and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    you spared me from going down to the pit.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said,
    “I will never be shaken.”
Lord, when you favored me,
    you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
    I was dismayed.

To you, Lord, I called;
    to the Lord I cried for mercy:
“What is gained if I am silenced,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.”

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Once again there is a line or possibly a phrase in a line that stands out to me and acts as a lifeline to someone who might be sinking or really feel far away:

11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

[For the next Lent observance post, click here]

ah man, this Lent schedule is a kicker… may have not gotten to make a post yesterday, but not going to beat up myself about it. let’s just make the most of the ones i do manage to post? good!

DAY 20ish

I was inspired for today’s post by a picture my friend Lilly Lewin [@lillylewin] shared on The Twitterer:

Lilli

Task: Write some words. Or maybe draw a picture. But just get something down.

Whether you give yourself five minutes for this or a whole hour, carve out a space in your busy day to reflect on some aspect of God and maybe more specifically Easter or resurrection, new beginnings, and whether you preferred choice is a poem or a song, whether you are someone who doodles, draws or paints or simply writes it in letter or story form, take some time to compose as an act of worship.

I have a long train ride happening later tonight as I return from a friend’s funeral that is two hours away and will look to use some of that time to do this [and will hopefully be able to post something tomorrow] and if you are up to sharing what you come up with, I would love to see it.

[For the next Lent Observance piece where you get to see what i created, click here]

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