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