Tag Archive: lent


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]

DAY25

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 first word of Jesus.’

But first take a read of these words by the famous English mystic, Julian of Norwich:

 

Suddenly it came into my mind that I ought to wish for the second wound, that our Lord, of his gift and of his grace, would fill my body full with recollection and feeling of his blessed Passion, as I had prayed before, for I wished that his pains might be my pains, with compassion which would lead to longing for God. . . . And at this suddenly I saw the red blood trickling down from under the crown, all hot, flowing freely and copiously, a living stream, just as it seemed to me that it was at the time when the crown of thorns was thrust down upon his blessed head. . . . With this sight of his blessed Passion and with his divinity, I saw that this was strength enough for me, yes, and for all living creatures who will be protected from all the devils from hell and from all spiritual enemies.

 

Spend a few minutes of reflection on this 6 page powerpoint as we reflect together on the first last word Jesus spoke on the cross.

 

[for the next 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]

well

DAY 22ish

As Easter approaches, i think it will be great for some of our reflections to be reminded of some key stories from the life of Jesus. i imagine that for most of us these stories are well-known and sometimes we get so familiar with them that we may miss something new God has to say or something old He wants to remind us of.

Task: As you read this story from the life of Jesus, try to read it with new eyes, really asking good questions about what it has to say to you today.

From the book of John, chapter 4 – try not to rush or skim read or assume but slowly, as if encountering this for the first time, see what happens, observe what is said about worship, look at the way Jesus speaks to the woman and the way she responds and focus on the outcome of their encounter…

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus

27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

 

 [For the next Lent Observance post, click here]

DAY 21ish

This is a follow on from yesterday and so if you didn’t do that one you will need to backpedal a day and catchup. The challenge was to reflect and write something down. Or create something.

Task: Today’s task is simply to share what you came up with yesterday with someone – can be in the comments section on today’s blog which would be great, but if it was more personal then pick someone close to you who you trust and let them see what you came up with.

i will share what i came up with in the car on the way to the memorial service i attended. I decided to reflect on God but for some reason this piece on the space between rebirth and resurrection came to me.

Death.
Always necessary for rebirth.
Never fun though.
Certainly not something you look forward to.
Except maybe in an ‘I know this is going to be good for me’ kind of way.

Waiting, in the post-death pre-resurrection stage
In anticipation, holding onto every hope
That this is indeed going to turn out ok
Hoping that the belief that has fueled you this far will not prove futile.

The moments in between seem to take forever
Having a life journey almost of their own
Eternity whispering, beckoning, calling.

Take a moment, though, before rushing off to this next new thing
Really be in this inbetween moment and all that it has to offer you
Invest in this quiet and stress free space you have been gifted 
Not so much to be doing the doing but to stretch out beyond that
Inviting God to draw close and fill in the spaces
That have opened up both in and around your life.
You are free to truly be.

Sometimes when we read something, we can miss the fullness of what is there, so take a moment to read through it again, and see if there was something you might have missed…

D eath.
A lways necessary for rebirth.
N ever fun though.
C ertainly not something you look forward to.
E xcept maybe in an ‘I know this is going to be good for me’ kind of way.

W aiting, in the post-death pre-resurrection stage
I n anticipation, holding onto every hope
T hat this is indeed going to turn out ok
H oping that the belief that has fueled you this far will not prove futile.

T he moments in between seem to take forever
H aving a life journey almost of their own
E ternity whispering, beckoning, calling.

T ake a moment, though, before rushing off to this next new thing
R eally be in this inbetween moment and all that it has to offer you
I nvest in this quiet and stress free space you have been gifted 
N ot so much to be doing the doing but to stretch out beyond that
I nviting God to draw close and fill in the spaces
T hat have opened up both in and around your life.
Y ou are free to truly be.

 

Hope to see some of what else has been created. Thank you for sharing in advance.

[For the next observance of Lent post, click here]

DAY 19ish

As we start a new week, let us continue to really spend some time each day observing the Lent period leading up to Easter as we prepare for the reminder of what Jesus’ death and resurrection means to our day to day lives.

Task: Read through and meditate on the lyrics of this Tim Hughes worship song [featuring Brooke Fraser] and then give it a listen, remembering a time [it may be now] when you had to cling to the cross. 

Clinging to the Cross

My soul is weak
My heart is numb
I cannot see
But still my hope is found in You
I’ll hold on tightly
You will never let me go
For Jesus, You will never fail
Jesus, You will never fail

Simply to the cross i cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as i am free
Jesus, You are all i need
Clinging to the cross

Even darkness is as light to You, my Lord
So light the way and lead me home
To that place where every tear is wiped away
For Jesus, You will never fail
Jesus, You will never fail

Simply to the cross i cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as i am free
Jesus, You are all i need
Clinging to the cross

What a Saviour, what a story
You were crucified but now You are alive
So amazing, such a mystery
You were crucified but now You are alive

Simply to the cross i cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as i am free
Jesus, You are all i need
Clinging to the cross

[for the next day’s observance of Lent, click here]

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