Lent Devotion - Wednesday

Lent: A Season of Prayer, Repentance and

Spiritual Reflection

“Lent” is the season in the Christian liturgical calendar that is marked by prayer and fasting, repentance and spiritual reflection and self-examination.  The word “Lent” comes from the Latin “the Forty” – a period of forty days preceding Easter (not including Sundays).  This season became fixed at forty days following the Council at Nicaea in 325 A.D.

In Preaching Through the Christian Year, the writers remind us that the forty days of Lent “bring immediately to mind the forty days of Jesus’ struggle and testing in the wilderness, a story that had its antecedents in Moses’ forty days without food on the mountain (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 9:9), Elijah’s forty days in flight to the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:4-8), and, of course, the forty years of Israel’s struggle in the wilderness.”[1] 

When Christians journey through Lent, we engage in a time of spiritual reflection which prepares and readies us for the Holy Week and Easter.  To assist you in this time of spiritual growth and preparation, your ministers have prepared devotionals based upon the daily scripture readings in the Revised Common Lectionary (a three year cycle – A, B and C -- of readings from the Old Testament, Psalms, Gospels and Epistles.)  We are in “Year C” which began in Advent. 

Each daily devotional uses an exercise called Lectio Divina, which means “divine reading” or “praying the scriptures.”  James Bryan Smith writes that it is a “method of reading the Bible that involves listening with the heart.  It is an ancient practice that goes all the way back to the Hebraic tradition of the Shema, which involved reading select passages of the Hebrew Bible with specific pauses and concentration on certain words.  Lectio Divina was practiced in a communal way by Christians in the early church and was later taught by the desert fathers and mothers with an emphasis on the individual.”[2] 

We hope that the brief instructions for each day will assist you in your daily time spent with God.  We are praying for you as you take this Lenten journey toward Easter.

Blessings, Pastor Bob Lee

[1] Preaching Through the Christian Year. Fred B. Craddock, et al., p. 139.

[2] James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful God, p. 108.

 

Ash Wednesday - Wednesday February 10

 

Prepare: Bring a journal or notepad, pen and Bible with you to a quite space.  Spend a few minutes just relaxing your spirit.  Take three deep breaths.  Straighten your posture.  Cup your hands toward the ceiling, as if receiving something from God.

Use a sentence prayer to center you, such as: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14, NRSV) or “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.” or “Lord, you are here; Lord, I am here.”

Read:  Psalm 51:1-17  Read the scripture selection for today.  If time allows, read at least one different translation.  Write down any words or phrases that stand out.

Meditate:  What words or phrases strike you?  Read them again. How are you feeling (body, mind, spirit) when reading?  What do you think this feeling means?  Make notes of your thoughts and feelings in your journal. 

Pray:  Write a one-sentence prayer – your prayer to God – lifting what you have read and what you have listed to God for healing, fullness, and insight.

Rest: Be still and silent for a while.  Just “be” in the presence of God.