Celebrating Universal Diversity

Lenten Meditations

PROLOGUE

These short Lenten Meditations were written by Deacon Bonnie Moore and Carole Weissman in 2005.  The Sunday pictures are by Joseph Coulombe (with his permission to print) and a few by Deacon Bonnie.  We offer the pictures and a scripture for the Sunday meditations.

Lent is a period of prayer and fasting for Christians to prepare for the celebration of Easter.  The 40 days are formulated by counting six days a week for six weeks leaving the Sabbath as a day of worship and rest.  Ash Wednesday through Saturday is included in the count.  This is to mirror Christ’s fasting in the desert before He began a public ministry.

As we wrote this series we began to realize there are many “deserts” in our lives other than Lent.  So it is our hope and prayer that these meditations will bring Light to Your Life in the dry and barren times and these words help you to find strength through the spiritual gifts of Joy, Thanksgiving and Praise.

They will be provided on the Website sjamcc.com and on the weekly news. The meditations will be posted weekly starting Ash Wednesday.

MOVING TO LOVE – Day 1 

PSALM 51:1 Have mercy on me O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

This is a day for repentance, for silent confession to God, turning away from wrongdoing and resolving to live according to God’s will for us.

In the book of Jonah, the prophet initially chose to disobey God’s command, and when he repented and became obedient; he was forgiven, as we will be.

O God our Creator, we thank you for your never-ending love for us.  Forgive us for the times we have turned from you, bless us with joy that can only come from you, as we tread the path you have laid for us. Amen.

SING TO LIFE – DAY 2

Ps. 13:6 I will sing to the Lord, because you have dealt bountifully with me.

Sing to life a new song!

Sing to life, all creation!

Sing of compassion and temper your deeds with kindness

Sing to all the world and tell of the miracles that sustain us daily.  Excerpt from Rabi Rami Shapiro

Awake to the light of day with a new heart and be thankful for the gifts God has so generously bestowed upon us all.  Treat each day, each moment as a fresh start. .  Look upon the day as a new page, cover it with grace and fill it with love.

Remember all that has been behind you leads to all that is yet to be fulfilled.  Walk with Jesus as he holds your hand and guides your feet.

THE POWER OF THANKFULNESS – DAY 3

Ps. 118:1-2, 5-6, 24 Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; for God’s loving kindness is everlasting.  From my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me.  The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can anyone do to me?  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Psalm 118 is one of many telling us of God’s saving goodness through our thankfulness.  It reveals a power released to change our circumstances, but more importantly to change us.  It can help us deal with fear, teach us to trust in God rather than our human abilities and becomes our strength in dealing with life’s situations.  That’s quite a good deal when we think of it!

How thankful I am that God’s love and kindness are timeless, never ending!  Help me, O God to rejoice each morning. Amen.

SUBMITTING TO GRACE – DAY 4

1 Pet. 5:5 Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Humility is placing God first.  It is not humiliation; it is the state of mind that subordinates my will to that of God’s.  I am not the center of the universe, our lives and our gifts come from God and we should use them to the utmost for the good of all.  Submitting to God’s will in humility leads us to obedience.

Jesus help me to be aware of

The eye that beholds me

The hand that holds me

The heart that loves me

The presence that enfolds me as I walk in humility.  Amen.

SUNDAY: A DAY OF WORSHIP AND REST. The Lord’s Mercies Are New Every Morning. La. 3:23 – DAY 5

UNCONDITIONAL GIVING – DAY 6                   

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

Giving unconditionally, with no strings attached, opens the heart exponentially and is not bound by time. You may notice that the people who give the most—without expectation of receiving anything in return—are the happiest and often the most successful.  

In the circle of life there is an ebb and flow.  What we give (time, energy, money, or talent) we receive twofold.

“A generous one will prosper; those who refresh others will themself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25-28

SHARING PEACE – DAY  7

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.” John 14:27

Many times we sing the song “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.  Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.”

In the busy lives we lead it’s sometimes difficult to remember these words.  How can I bring peace to others?  Maybe by giving someone a smile, praying for a sick friend or volunteering for a charity or my church.  I can share peace every day when I am open to any opportunity.  By extending peace, I feel peace and by feeling peace, I extend peace.  It is good to know that God always makes a way to share peace.

Help me Jesus, to share the Peace you give to me.  Open my eyes and ears for opportunities to be peace in the world today.  Amen.

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH – DAY 8

Neh.8:10 Do not be grieved, for the Joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah was teaching the people how to lighten up and enjoy the day as holy. Joy is a spiritual gift (Eph. 4) God has given us to live by our spirit and not by our feelings. This helps us live by a God-given power and not by our circumstances, events, or any other external situation. Feelings change dependent upon what is happening, or not. That can bring happiness but the gift of Joy is a spiritual force available to all who receive it as a gift, freely given, by our Creator to empower us to live a life of Joy.

Creator God: Thank you for your spiritual gift of Joy. Help me to live a Joyful life led by your Spirit and not by my feelings. I thank you there is more than happiness; there is Joy! May the Joy of the Lord by my strength this day. This I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

SHALOM – DAY 9

Job 22:21 Quit quarreling with God. Agree with God and you will have peace at last. God’s favor will surround you if you will only admit that you were wrong.

The Hebrew word, Shalom, often used as salutation is actually a noun for peace, an internal peace.

Without SHALOM all we do is to no avail.
Peace with God is the highest form of inward satisfaction that will reflect upon the outward person.

How can I obtain Shalom? Where is the inner peace, the peace of mind to dwell within? It comes by trusting in the Lord.

Loving God, help me to trust in you and your will for my life that I may live in Shalom.

THE PRAYER OF MOTHER TERESA – DAY 10

The fruit of silence is prayer

The fruit of prayer is faith

The fruit of faith is love

The fruit of love is service

The fruit of service is peace

Jesus said to pray one for another
Jesus said to have faith
Jesus said to love one another
Jesus said to feed the hungry, clothe the naked
Jesus said have peace that passes understanding

If I can see Jesus in the life of Mother Teresa, will others see Jesus in me? Help me today, dear Jesus, to be like you. Fill me with your Spirit of Love.
In your Name I pray, Amen.

MY CONFIDENCE IS IN YOU- DAY 11

2 Co. 7:4 Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf; I am filled with comfort. I am overflowing with joy in our all affliction.

In this letter to the church at Corinth Paul was expressing his heart and love for the church. It was during a time of affliction and persecution that Paul was encouraging them to live a life of holiness and integrity, sacrificing their own needs and wants for the good of all and to be an example of Christ. He was sharing spiritual joy and God’s promises in the midst of personal tribulation and trial. While we may not take joy in our situation, we receive joy from community and God’s steadfast love of us.

Help me, Jesus, to be a reflection of you and to receive joy whatever my circumstances may be. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

SUNDAY: A DAY OF WORSHIP AND REST. – Under God’s Wings shall we seek refuge: God’s faithfulness is our shield. Psalm 91:4 – DAY 12

A LIGHT TO MY PATH – DAY 13

Psalm 119:105 Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

In our high tech world there are many ways to look for direction when we need it. There are many voices ready to give us advice. It is good to seek counsel and direction from what is available but sometimes it gets confusing or we are not sure which choice to make. God gives us a sure way to be on the path of peace, the direction of love. By studying the Word, listening to the Spirit and waiting to be at Peace, we can know God’s Will and lead a life guided by our Creator. We can have light in a dark place, know which way to go and be peaceful in the midst of turmoil.

Loving God: Thank you for your Word and the light it brings to my life. Help me to follow your Will revealed through your Word and confirmed by your Spirit. In Your Name, Amen.

HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS – DAY 14

Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without words
And never stops—at all.
Emily Dickenson

Hope is a spiritual force that comes to help us on our faith journey, that is like a bird that flies because it’s feathers do the work they were created to do. Hope is like a song within our hearts that lifts us up without our putting voice to the words.

Today I thank God for the gift of Hope and will use Hope to see things I cannot yet see, to be that which I have not been and to do that which God leads me to do.

SACRIFICE OF THANKSGIVING – Day 15

Ps. 116:17 To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord.

Being thankful isn’t always easy. There are times and places that we must sacrifice our needs and feelings and choose and decide to be thankful. When we do, God has promised to reward our decision and will rescue, provide, protect. We are changed into the likeness of God when we release the power of thanksgiving into our lives. It redefines our conversation with God. This doesn’t necessarily mean we are thankful for the situation, but we are gratefull for the goodness of the Lord. God has promised to respond when we ask with a grateful heart.

Loving God, teach me through my sacrifice of thanksgiving that I will see your goodness in my life. In your many names I pray. Amen.

GRAY DAYS – DAY 16

Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming it.” Helen Keller

There are times when it seems we just can’t “get over it”, no matter what we try. Situations, bad moods, long lines, sadness and irritating people can get in the way of our happiness. Down days and dark times can rob us of our peace. How do we deal with it? Hanging in there, holding on to hope, and prayer will bring us peace. In peace we can go through this day, this hour, this minute.

Thanks be to God who says:
Ro. 5:1-5 We have peace through Jesus; we exalt in the hope of the glory of God and exalt in our tribulation, knowing that perseverance brings character and hope which doesn’t disappoint. For the Love of God has been put in our heart by the Holy Spirit. Amen

FINDING GRACE – DAY 17

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a step (toward grace).” May Sarton

Find your instrument of grace.
Walk the beach: garden: brush your pet: watch the sunset/rise.
Notice how the world slows down and the clarity of the situation changes focus.
Notice the presence of Jesus as He walks with you in peace.
Notice your tolerance increase as worldly issues crowd your life.

Be thou patient with me,
Watch as I learn from the Spirit,
Clear my senses to increase my understandings and live with love. Amen

OPENESS – DAY 18

2 Chron. 7:15 Now My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.

Pray is like turning on a light in the darkness. The brighter our light, the greater the chance someone will see it and respond. Regardless of how bright a light or clear our connections, there is always someone in spirit who is on the other end of our prayer call – The laws of physics (and karma) state that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When and in what specific way Spirit responds is another matter, but respond She will. Answers to our prayers may come instantaneously or life times later, but it will come in its own time (not at the convenience of ours), when one works with the power of prayer, great patience and awareness.

Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the Spirit, who knows that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers. Open our senses to all. In your Holy Name. Amen.

SUNDAY A DAY OF WORSHIP AND REST – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13 – Day 19

DWELLING PLACE – DAY 20

Psalm 91:1-2,9-16
“Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. For you, O Lord are my refuge, my dwelling place.”

This excerpt from Psalm 91 tells us, in some detail, about the protection and secure provision for those who dwell in God’s presence and what God will do for us when we call upon That Name.

In our busy lives there is a “drive through” mentality leading us to think quick and fast is good enough. Dwell used in this passage indicates a relationship developed by spending time, not just dropping by. The words dwelling and abiding are an indication that God wants us to spend time in The Word and fellowship with our Creator. This creates trust, and those who trust in God have been given great and wonderful promises of Divine Faithfulness, Protection and Presence!

Thank you, O God, for your promises to me when I put my trust in you, abide in your Word and spend time in your presence. If I call, You will answer me and be with me in time of trouble. In the Name of the Most High. Amen

CREATE A NEW HEART – DAY 21

Ps. 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence. And do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation. And sustain me with a willing spirit.

In this passage from the Psalms David is crying out to God in repentance for his sin. He is asking God for forgiveness and reconciliation. In 2 Cor.5 we see God was in Christ reconciling the world, not counting their transgressions and committing us to the Word of Reconciliation, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! In other words, God wants us to have righteousness consciousness not sin consciousness, and will restore us when we seek God.

Thank you, Creator, for the joy of my salvation and your gift of forgiveness. Amen.

THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE – DAY 22

Jeremiah 33:3,9a, 11 Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. And it shall be to Me a name of joy, praise, and glory; the voice of joy and the voice of gladness. Give thanks to the Lord for the Lord is good and the Lord’s loving-kindness is everlasting.

Through thanksgiving we can come into God’s presence and as we spend time in giving praise and being a joyful people, God will speak to us things beyond all we could ever ask or think of! And, God’s goodness isn’t just for the moment but is everlasting. Being able to realize God’s goodness can change our attitude and that can change our actions. Changed actions make for a changed life. And it begins with praising, not only asking when we come to God in prayer.

Praise be to you, O Gracious God, who answers me when I call! Amen.

CHANGING OUR WORLD – DAY 23

John 14:12 The one who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to my Parent, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. (The Message Bible)

When Jesus came into the world, died and was resurrected, He changed the world forever. It is now our responsibility to change the world. If we are aware, we can change things. If we take the time we can learn how our choices impact others and all things on our planet. It will take nearly a whole forest to make one Sunday newspaper. Do we recycle it? We can increase our awareness if we knew 40,000 children die daily from hunger! What can I do about this? If I am so busy I do not see, how can I change it? We have to look deeply to really see things.

Help me, Dear God to care, look deeply and act responsibly that through me, Jesus can still change the world for peace and love. In His Name I pray, amen.

WORRY – DAY 24

II Corinthians 10:5 We use our powerful God tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought, emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.
Arthur S. Roche

Worry releases a negative energy in our lives that can lead to unwanted results. How do we deal with it since it’s an ever-present issue? Trusting in a power greater than our selves can redirect us to replace worry with faith. Changing our thought life can change our lives!

With your power, O God, I can change my life of worry and fear into one of faith and trust. Not by power, nor by might, but by your Word. In the Name of Jesus, amen.

CHURCH BEHAVIOR – DAY 25

Philippians 1:2-4,6 Grace and peace to you from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. For I am confident that God who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul wrote many letters to the various churches or fellowships that formed after Jesus died. The purpose was to guide the new Believers and share his understanding of whom Jesus was, and His ministry on earth through the church. Although Paul was verbose and direct in his writings, his love of Christ and the Church was most evident. He begins many of the letters with his prayer and wishes for the Believers. We can learn how to interact with each other by reading and studying these prayers.

Blessed be the God and Parent of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Amen. (Ephesians 1:3)

SUNDAY A DAY OF WORSHIP AND REST – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen. Hebrews 11:1

CLEAN SLATE – DAY 27

Lamentations 3:22-23 The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for God’s compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.

The morning light can bring us great joy. This is the moment to praise and be thankful, the moment of fresh beginnings, to enjoy life in love and peace without yesterday’s burdens.

A prayer of Saint Theresa
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God
Let this presence settle into your bones,
And allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us. Amen.

DON’T WORRY, BE THANKFUL –  DAY 28

Phil. 4:6-7 Don’t be anxious but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A popular expression, “don’t worry, be happy”, has left us wondering how to not worry and how to be happy. Paul is telling the church at Philippi how to have emotional health and how to deal with depression. He is telling us to ask God about everything; leave nothing out. Nothing is too big or too small to bring to God in prayer. Our attitude is important! We are to stop our worrying and to be thankful: not necessarily for everything, but in everything.

When we pray in thankfulness for God’s involvement in all of our life, peace that passes our human understanding is the result.
Loving God: Teach me to pray with a thankful heart and to look to you in all things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen

FATHER’S PRAYER – DAY 29

Luke 11:1 One of His disciples said to Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray”. 
 
The disciples asked Jesus how to pray. Today we learn to pray in many ways; our church, families, friends, books and hearing others pray.

This prayer from the heart was given from a Jewish father to his daughter.  Although Jewish by birth, he left his traditional Hebrew faith.  Yet, his prayer is still impacting his family and building heritage and faith.  His prayer reflects the many ways and images in which we understand and see God. 

Mother God, there are so many decisions to make. I don’t know what is best for now or the future. You said if we lack wisdom, all we need to do is ask you. I really need you to pour wisdom into my mind today.  Amen.                

KADDISH PRAYER – DAY 30

Ezekiel 38:23 Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself, and I will make Myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

The Kaddish unique in Jewish life is most profound and stirring.  Although cited as a prayer of mourning, it is a prayer of living that both affirms faith in God and calls the community to join in affirming the Lord. 

“May His great name be exalted and sanctified in the world which He created according to His will!  May He establish His kingdom and may His salvation blossom and His anointed be near; during your lifetime and during your days and during the lifetimes of all the House of Israel. Speedily and very soon! And, Amen”

“May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity!  Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, above and beyond all the blessings, hymns, praises and consolations that are uttered in the world! Amen”. 
(No inclusive language: original text)

MAKING DECISIONS – DAY 31

Psalm 119:16 Great peace have they who love your law.

It is important we are balanced as we seek to make choices and decisions. Following circumstances alone can get us into trouble.  We should also consider peace and wisdom in our process to make choices.  Circumstances without peace should not be used as our reason to move forward.  Using God’s Word to be led by peace and wisdom, combined with our circumstances can give us checks and balances.  When we hear and obey God’s voice through peace, the result is the best decision or choice.   This will lead us to rely on God’s goodness and wisdom throughout our circumstances.

God of Wisdom and Peace:  Lead me in Your will and way for my life through your Word.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

MY GOD CARES – DAY 32

1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for God cares about you.

Throughout life, we are all faced with fears of the unknown and personal problems that seem hopeless and frightening. We get caught in our emotions and forget to look for God. In some situations, we may even find ourselves doubting God’s existence and wondering if we have been abandoned. 

At these times, life can make us feel like we are in a fog – a fog so dense and heavy that it seems nearly impossible to feel or see God at all.  But taking a moment to center, breathe and pray may clear the air and allow us to feel God’s presence to receive God’s comfort and provision.

Dear God, help me to give my cares to you and to remember you care about me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

SUNDAY A DAY OF WORSHIP AND REST – Day 33Now unto God who is able to do abundantly beyond all we ask or think, according to the power that works within as be Glory to God. Ephesians 3:20 

OPEN MY EYES – DAY 34

Luke 24:45 Then their minds were opened that they might understand the scriptures.

The miracle is not to walk on water.  The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.  Thich Nhat Hanh. 

If we find ourselves living a life of unhappiness or dwelling in disappointment, if we spend our days in the idle pursuits that fail to satisfy our hearts or make our souls sing, if we are busy with what has not happened for us and what might never be, if we are so self-focused that we fail to see the person walking beside us on our journey, then this message is for us.  (Rev. Dr. Kathy Rooke)

Open my eyes that I may see, glimpses of truth thou hast for me, Spirit Divine.  Amen.

PEACE AND PRAYER – DAY 35

Philippians 4:6-7,9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God that surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.

Peace of mind and compassionate action are a vital part of our spiritual journey.  Prayer helps us develop inner peace in the midst of demands from the outer world to focus and quiet our minds.  Our prayers use words that take us beyond human speech and connect us with our Creator.  Prayer also helps us develop our caring for the rest of creation in ways surpassing training or experience.  By living a life of prayer, the presence of the Divine is but a thought away; and by living our prayers we become creators of peace and goodness in our world.  

Thank you, Dear God, for peace that passes all my understanding.  In Jesus Name, amen.

PUT ON/PRESS ON – DAY 36

Isaiah 61:3 To give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Isaiah gives us the answer to our problems when things seem to depress and press us down.  God has provided life and beauty for the “dead” things in our lives.  It’s up to us to “put on and press on”; leave behind the things that so easily beset us!  Paul said to the church at Philippi to forget what lies behind and to reach for what lies ahead.  When we do that, we too can press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  

So when I feel overwhelmed and under qualified, I can remember God’s Word to put aside the old and put on the new, going forward in confidence that God is with me.

Help me, O God, to remember your promise of beauty, joy and praise.  Amen.

PRACTICING LOVE – DAY 37

Luke 6:27-31 But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” * Oscar Wilde

In today’s life we meet many obstacles. The greatest is dealing with others who seem to do us harm.  God has told us to disregard actions against us and to love others as they are.  Meet irritations with grace and exchange anger and frustration with a calm peacefulness.

Loving God: bless me with ability to practice love against those who do me harm.  Amen

RUN WITH HORSES – DAY 38

Jeremiah 12:5 If you have raced with men and women on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? 

Never walk in the footsteps of others, or you won’t leave any of your own.

We often find ourselves doing what the crowd dictates, thinking we are not worthy of our own individual course.  Each one of us has uniquely been created to do our best.  By living a life of faith and love we can stretch and be removed from pettiness and trivial nonsense, shake out moral dullness and become whole.

If we can mount opposition, look beyond finding food for the table and riches for our pockets, and realize that most of us are satisfied with keeping warm and dry.  These apathetic mediocrities can be shed, and our fatigue lifted.  We can race with the swift and determined horses of excellence, and live glorifying God.

Heavenly Creator, I thank you for my uniqueness and my ability to move forward.  Let me always run with the horses. In your Holy Name, Amen.

TIME IN THE DESERT – DAY 39                    

Joshua 1:5 As I was with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.  

Have you ever experienced times of spiritual drought in your life? Most of us have at some time, and it’s not unusual to feel like you’re stuck and getting nowhere fast. This is how the children of Israel felt when Moses was leading them toward the Promised Land. 

The Scripture says God “led the people around by the way of the wilderness”. Truthfully, they were going around in circles; God was leading the people according to specific purposes! There are certain lessons that can only be learned in the desert (spiritual emptiness), and there are no shortcuts to spiritual growth and maturity.

The Israelites journey through the wilderness can be illustrative of our journey with God.  In Wisdom, God may take us on an extended journey through the wilderness to mature, prepare, and strengthen us for those things that we’ll face down the road.

If you are in this wilderness, keep your heart open. God is working on your behalf to prepare you for all that is promised.

Loving God who leads me: I pray to see all and receive all, so that I may live my purpose according to your will. In your Holy Name, Amen.
 

SUNDAY: A DAY OF WORSHIP AND REST – DAY 40

And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with your heart. And I will be found by you, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:13,14a

 

UNDERSTANDING – DAY 41 

 

Isaiah 52:15 For what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.

Today’s events can easily confuse, even anger us. Jesus did everything his Parent asked of him. He must do more; He must die. We may not understand the world or God; we may read the news headlines and be certain evil has won. It is precisely at these times, when we understand the least, that it is hardest to take the leap of faith and surrender to God’s plan for each of us.

Increase my faith Dear Lord, that my eyes are opened and my heart receives full understanding. Amen.

WALKING WITH JESUS – DAY 42                

1John 1: 6-8 If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us.
  
God has given us the only son, the man Jesus, through whom humanity has been given a chance to live in eternal love. This season of Lent can be a beautiful and deeply moving experience of walking with Jesus to the cross.  Follow His journey to our salvation, struggle and rejoice with Jesus as He teaches us the path of life. As we walk with Him, and sincerely believe He is walking with us, enter into a place to receive His provision, blessing, comfort and peace.

Jesus, walk with me
Jesus, I am ready to be your sister/brother.
Read my heart, as walking to complete the journey together.  Amen.

FOLLOWING JESUS               
HOLY WEEK WEDNESDAY             

Luke 9:22-23 Jesus said to them “The Son of humanity must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.  If anyone wishes to come after Me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.”

It is the cross on which the burdens of the world are laid.  How foolish we are when we seek to bear our own burdens. There is only one place for them—the cross.

Jesus already suffered, was rejected and died.  He asks us to daily put aside those things that hinder our life of Love and Joy; to put them upon the cross so we are open to the flow of Spirit and Life.

Thank you Jesus, for giving yourself, for providing a way for me.  Help me to lay by burdens down and follow you with all my heart and soul.  Amen.

PASS OVER WITH JESUS                
HOLY WEEK-THURSDAY

Matthew 26:17-19 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”  And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

Passover Pesach, (pesaħ): A Jewish and Samaritan holy day and festival commemorating the Hebrews escape from Egypt and has given root to Christian rite.
Now is the time to enter into the events of Jesus’ passion for which we’ve prepared. We got ready with God’s help throughout Lent, and God will not abandon us now.

Founded in Jewish tradition, the Seder we all share, remember my brothers and sisters Jesus gave us this meal. So let us order ourselves around this table to share the blessed matzoh and sweet wine, His body and blood.  Amen

LOVE SEED                                      
HOLY WEEK-FRIDAY

Isaiah 61:3 To grant to those who mourn in Zion giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness for mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.  So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Generally we think of the time after the crucifixion as a time of loss and death.  Conflicting events and emotions left the disciples distraught and afraid not knowing what would happen next. Often we react this way when we cannot see the outcome of what looks like a loss or negative experience. What happened between the crucifixion and the resurrection?  The seed of life and love was germinating out of sight much like flower and fruit seeds when planted in the dirt. Holy Week changed the world, with the Cross-a turning point for all humankind. But it is also a time when the unseen became seen.  All Jesus’ work was culminated at the resurrection.  Although his followers didn’t understand His true reason for being here, love and life were reborn from the unseen “seed” planted in a tomb.  Up from the earth there arose, a mighty triumph!

Help me, dear Jesus, to hold fast to faith in “unseen” times.  Amen.

RESURRECTION POWER 
HOLY WEEK-SATURDAY      

Acts 1:8 “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witness in the earth.”

When Jesus said, “It is finished” he was referring to his ministry on earth.  But he didn’t leave us without a way to live our lives as followers of Him.

Resurrection power is available to us when we walk in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  It was Jesus’ promise to us.  The Holy Spirit is here to fill us each day with faith, hope and will lead us in the path God has for us.   The Holy Spirit is in us to give strength to our faith, open our understanding of God’s Word and lead us on our spiritual journey.

Thank you, Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit to help us to be resurrection people.  In Your name I pray.  Amen.

SUNDAY A DAY OF WORSHIP AND REST: For I know the plans I have for you; plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremaih 29:11