Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lenten Devotion for February 29

Lead Us on Our Journey
by Ruth Harvey

God, our God,
you have called us to be a people
on the move;
traveling light,
dying to live,
ready to lose ourselves for the sake of the world.

You have called us to be a people
with a purpose;
traveling without a map,
traveling to where we are led,
sustained by your Spirit,
committed to the gospel for the hope of the world.

You have called us, your people,
to be the church.
But we are a church with problems:
too strong for the weak,
too staid for the young,
too respectable for the poor,
too divided for mission,
too obsessed with our own lives to think of the lives of others,
too unsure of our message to speak to the world.

Move us on our journey
from where we are to where you want us to go.
Open our eyes on the way
to the people of different cultures, continents and countries,
who can bring color to our lives.

Take us on our journey
from where we are to what you want us to be;
so that we become a community
where all are welcomed and no one is excluded,
all are valued and no one is made to feel inadequate,
all are forgiven and no one is ashamed to belong,
all are encouraged and no one is too hurt to come among us.

Lead us on our journey
from who we are to who you want us to be;
so that patience is built into us,
kindness is assumed in us,
gentleness is part of us,
compassion flows from us,
truth is second nature to us,
and the commitment of love is part of us.

Let us go gladly on the journey towards Easter –
the journey towards death and resurrection.
Let us journey in the peace and power of the Spirit.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten Devotion for February 28

Prayer of One Who Feels Lost
by Joyce Rupp

Dear God,
why do I keep fighting you off?
One part of me wants you desparately,
another part of me unknowingly
pushes you back and runs away.

What is there in me that
so contradicts my desire for you?
These transition days, these passage ways,
are calling me to let go of old securities,
to give myself over into your hands.

Like Jesus who struggled with the pain
I, too, fight the “let it all be done.”
Loneliness, lostness, non-belonging,
all these hurts strike out at me,
leaving me pained with this present goodbye.

I want to be more but I fight the growing.
I want to be new but I hang unto the old.
I want to live but I won’t face the dying.
I want to be whole but cannot bear
to gather up the pieces into one.

Is it that I refuse to be out of control,
to let the tears take their humbling journey,
to allow my spirit to feel its depression,
to stay with the insecurity of “no home”?

Now is the time. You call to me,
begging me to let you have my life,
inviting me to taste the darkness
so I can be filled with the light,
allowing me to lose my direction
so that I will find my way home to you.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lenten Devotion for February 27

Thoughts on fasting and justice from the Prophet Isaiah (58:3-12)

“Why do we fast, but you do not see?  Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.  Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist.  Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?  Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?  Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?  Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.  Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.  If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.  The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.  Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lenten Devotion for February 26

A Lenten Prayer
by Augustine of Hippo

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.  Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.  Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.  Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.  Guard me, O Holy Spirit, that I myself may always be holy.

Lenten Devotion for February 25

Lent Reflection 

by Shane Claiborne

In a world filled with clutter, noise and hustle, Lent is a good excuse to step back and rethink how we think and live.  In a world of instant gratification, it's a chance to practice delayed gratification -- to fast -- so that we can truly appreciate the blessings we have.  In a world where virtual friends are replacing real ones, it is an invitation to turn off TV and computer screens so we can spend time with real people again.

It's an opportunity to give up something that is sucking the life out of us so that we can be filled with God, with life, with love again.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lenten Devotion for February 24

A Prayer for Lent
Henri J. M. Nouwen

How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting, and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death?

Yes, Lord, I have to die--with you, through you, and in you--and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess.... I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it. O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Devotion for February 23

To the Ocean
by Ed Happ

There was a stream
next to the house
where I spent half my childhood;
I was forever pulling leaves and limbs
from it
so the water that had backed up
behind the impromptu dam
could flow anew—
there was something about water
moving freely by
that called to my tending
as if downstream
was a place to go
without impediment.
When I can’t pray
I think about the wall of branches
that one by one needs to be pulled out
of the way;
And when I do pray,
I’m sailing to the ocean on the last golden leaf

Lenten Devotion for Ash Wednesday

"Lent 2001"

by Joyce Rupp

The cosmos dreams in me
while I wait in stillness,
ready to lean a little further
into the heart of the Holy.

I, a little blip of life,
a wisp of unassuming love,
a quickly passing breeze,
come once more into Lent.

No need to sign me
with the black bleeding ash
of palms, fried and baked.
I know my humus place.

This Lent I will sail
on the graced wings of desire,
yearning to go deeper
to the place where
I am one in the One.

Oh, may I go there soon,
in the same breath
that takes me to the stars
when the cosmos dreams in me.