Lenten Ponderings 2012

Lent, literally “springtime,” is that time of year when light is blooming earlier each day and dissolves softly into night later each evening. All that has been dormant, sleeping in the winter of the soul, begins to wake. What better metaphor for our spiritual life as well? What better time to practice more intentional sacred reflection? We can reach inwards and grasp at meanings, letting the Holy Spirit move in us. Even as the Sun warms our earth, illuminating fresh new flowers setting forth their buds each day, so to do we have the opportunity to realize in our own hearts what is being illumined for us.

Lent and springtime together teach us to live in humble grace as we accept with thanks the lessons we learned in the past year and set forth to practice new life for the year to come. “Lent” comes from a Germanic language root meaning, “long” and “spring.” For us, it is like the springtime of the soul; a time of preparation for the joyous Easter that is yet to come. When I am successful engaging Lenten disciplines, whether by giving something up and/or by adding or trying a new spiritual discipline for the duration of the season, I find that my soul and voice long to sing:
Day is done, gone the sun, from the lake, from the hills, from the sky; all is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

You may want to give up something for Lent to help you put your lenses of faith on; use that as a way to make space for seeing more of God. Perhaps even pray these questions:
For Lent this year, I want to give up …
For Lent this year, I will be looking for Jesus by …

Lent means spring time…. What are you doing to encourage new growth for your spiritual life?

Lent is a time of sacred reflection…. How might you intentionally spend time reflecting on sacred things during Lent?

Lent is a time of new beginnings…. What is new for you in your spiritual life, and how does that cross-over into your every day?

Some readings to consider for Lent on the teachings of Jesus:

Teachings of Jesus for Lenten Reflection 2012

Compiled by Rev. Carley Friesen, Associate Pastor, Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church and TaborSpace

Teachings on Mercy

Ash Wednesday Matthew 9:9-13 – Merciful means sitting with “sinners.”
Thursday Matthew 18:32-35 – Forgive your brother from your heart.
Friday Luke 6:32-36 – Be merciful to EVERYONE.

Teachings on Suffering – Week beginning February 26

Sunday              Mark 8:31-33         See God’s plan at work in suffering.
Monday             Mark 14:35-36       Trust in God’s will.
Tuesday             John 9:1-5               God is glorified in suffering.
Wednesday       John 16:17-22        Your grief will give way to joy.
Thursday           John 16:29-33        Take heart because I have overcome.
Friday                Matthew 5:10-12  There is reward in suffering.
Saturday            Luke 24:25-27        One day we may understand suffering.

Teachings on Loving Others – Week beginning March 4

Sunday                       John 15:9-15             Love means laying down your life.
Monday                      Mark 12:28-34          Love your neighbor.
Tuesday                      Matthew 5:43-48     Love your enemies
Wednesday                Matthew 5:21-24     Be reconciled to one another.
Thursday                    Matthew 5:38-40     Show love even when met with hate.
Friday                         Luke 15:11-20           Love unconditionally.
Saturday                     John 13:33-35           Love connotes discipleship.

Teachings on Prayer – Week beginning March 11

Sunday           Mark 9:25-30 (corrected from bulletin hand out)  Pray in secret.
Monday          Luke 18:1-8                Be persistent in prayer.
Tuesday          Luke 22:39-46           Pray for resolve.
Wednesday    John 17:1-5                Pray for Christ to be made known.
Thursday        John 17:6-18             Pray for people you love.
Friday             John 17:19-26           Pray for all people of faith.
Saturday         Luke 11:9-13             Ask and you will receive.

Teachings on Sacrifice – Week beginning March 18

Sunday           Mark 12:41-44          Offer everything to God.
Monday          Luke 14:25-27           Discipleship is greater than family
Tuesday          Matthew 19:16-26   Follow light-handed.
Wednesday    Luke 6:38                   Give generously.
Thursday        Matthew 6:16-20     Fast without fanfare.
Friday             Mark 10:28-30          The sacrifice will be worth it.
Saturday         Matthew 24:9-14     Stand firm.

Teachings on Humility – Week beginning March 25

Sunday              Matt. 7:1-5             Acknowledge your faults.
Monday             Luke 18:10-15        Be humble when you talk to God.
Sunday              Matt. 7:1-5             Acknowledge your faults.
Monday             Luke 18:10-15        Be humble when you talk to God.
Tuesday             Matt. 20:24-28      Be a servant to others.
Wednesday       Luke 14:9-11          Take a back seat.
Thursday           Matt. 8:5-13           Recognize Christ’s authority.
Friday                Mark 9:34-40         Don’t try to be the greatest.
Saturday            John 13:12-17        Wash one another’s feet.

Teachings on Following Through – Holy Week – Palm Sunday through Easter

Palm Sunday              Matthew 21:28-32   Do what you say.
Monday                      Luke 14:28-33           Finish what you start.
Tuesday                      Mark 14:12-25          Keep following every day.
Wednesday                Luke 9:57-62             Don’t look back.
Maundy Thursday     Mark 14:32-42          Know when it is time to get going.
Good Friday               John 19:28-30           It is finished.
Holy Saturday            John 12:1-8                Prepare for my burial.
Easter Sunday            Acts 1:4-8                  It doesn’t end like we think



About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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7 Responses to Lenten Ponderings 2012

  1. scottrick says:

    Sunday Matthew 9:13 – “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
    I am struck by this last phrase, ‘…go and learn…” Spoken like a true teacher, learn here is an active verb, not a passive one. “go and learn” implies action paired with reflection towards self-transformation .

    Monday Matthew 18:35 ‘…unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” The cornerstone of all reconciliation is meeting an adversary and extending the hand -not in/of anger- but mercy.

  2. Scottrick says:

    Tuesday Luke 6:36 – “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” O Lord, teach me to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with you.

    Teachings on Suffering
    Wednesday Mark 8:31 “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law….” O Groaning God, en-fleshed among us for a time, in your rejection you took on the identity of all who have been rejected. I pray then, let all also rise with you into the glory of your resurrection.

  3. Scottrick says:

    Thursday Mark 14:35 “…he fell to the ground and prayed…” Have you ever done that? I have, kneeling in the frost-cold grass in December, I had taken off my shoes in a moment filled with holy expectation in the middle of a grassy part of my seminary campus…and gazed up into the night-dark sky, and just felt a prayer rise up, wordless in its cry. Try it sometime and unburden your soul to God.

    Friday John 9:5 “When I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.” O Jesus, shine for me, that I might lift up my head and see you afar off, and know which way I am to go. Then, if you have mercy, bring me close to you. Amen.

  4. Scottrick says:

    Saturday John 16:22 “…Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” How true this can be; in the midst of life, every-day life, so much joy is present; but sometimes the grief seems overwhelming.
    Sunday John 16:32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone.” I wonder, did Jesus feel abandoned by his friends, knowing what would happen ahead of time?

  5. Scottrick says:

    Monday: Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
    O Lord, it is so hard to receive negative words. My primary language of love is Words of Affirmation. I pray for your strength so that I can take it. Amen.

    Tuesday: Luke 24:25-27 “He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” O Lord, illumine the scriptures for me, too, so that I may preach your word to those who need it and live the gospel in ways others feel your love. Amen.

  6. Scottrick says:

    Wednesday: Matthew 6:6: “When you pray, go into your room…” Isn’t it funny, when those who have been trained in seminaries to be priests or pastors, are frequently asked to pray in public gatherings? here, Jesus tells us to go and pray in secret.
    Thursday: Matthew 6:9 “This, then, is how you pray: Our Father, who art in heaven…” I also find it ironic that we don’t often just pray this prayer, even though it is found in virtually every service of worship regardless of denomination. We remember this part, memorize it, and then pray it publicly!
    Friday: Mark 11:17a: “And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’””? When Jesus said this, he caused quite a stir. There were laws in place that only Jewish worshipers could go into the holy place of the temple, and indeed, only a priest could go into the “Holiest of Holies”-and that only once a year to make atonement for the people on Yom Kippur. Even in Jesus’ time there was the outer courtyard where gentiles could gather, but none but the Jews could go into the inner courts. Isn’t it remarkable that when Jesus rose from the dead, the curtain that separated the “Holiest of Holies” was torn in two?
    Saturday: Matthew 5:47: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” O, Lord, may your almighty hand of healing and wholeness reach out and touch all who are broken. Amen.
    Sunday: Mark 9:29 “This kind can only come out by prayer.” I have often wondered, if some things can only be done by prayer, than prayer must be a fantastic tool capable of things we can’t even imagine! Especially if, like me, prayer is not often an easy thing to do. What all am I missing?!?
    Monday: Luke 18:1 “Pray and do not give up.” O Lord, come into my heart and my life, and the hearts and lives of my family members. May we truly find out unique calling together in your kingdom, amen.
    Tuesday: Luke 22:40,46: “Pray that you do not fall into temptation.” “Pray that you do not fall into temptation.” If he asked his disciples twice, it must be important!

  7. Scottrick says:

    Wednesday John 17:3-4 Pray for Christ to be made known. “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do…”
    O Lord, what is my work, the work that you would have me do for you? I am but a man, and I need your guidance that I might know of what use I am to you and to the greatest good of all Life.
    Thursday John 17:11b Pray for people you love. “Holy Father, protect [the disciples] by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”
    Friday John 17:19-26 Pray for all people of faith. “My prayer is not for [the disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one…”
    Saturday Luke 11:9-10 Ask and you will receive. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
    O Christ, you prayed for all of us?!? Of what use are we to one such as thee? Our sole purpose here is to believe that God is the LORD, and you are the Christ, God’s son. Okay, now what? I want to live a life of meaning and purpose. I pray for those with whom I live, family, friends, strangers. I pray that your life would shine through mine and that Love would grow and increase, finding all of us in higher planes of prayer and spiritual being. Lift us up from where we are and give us all hearts of love and purpose, meaning and humility, gratitude and trust. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

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