PSALM 119: 73-80


This past Sunday Pastor Clark preached from John 15.  This week we will have a daily Psalm to pray and a passage from John 15 along with a daily discipline, reflection, meditation, poem, or prayer.



Mondays we will provide a Meditation and Reflection during the Lenten Journey.





Read slowly and allow the words to penetrate.

JOHN 15 – yes the whole chapter…



If you would like to set a timer for 5 or 10 min.  If you haven’t practiced mediation or it has been a while maybe start with 5 minutes.

Find a posture as you sit with a straight back; I like to think a tall back.  Pretend a string is coming down from ceiling and is attached to the top of your head.

Not rigid and not too relaxed.



“Jesus, let me feel your love.”

Repeat 3-4 times.



Once you feel centered begin:

Sit in silence.  If your mind begins to wonder don’t stress.  Come back to the breath and the centering prayer 2 or 3 times.

If images or words come to mind.  Don’t focus to hard on them just make a note of it and get back to the breath and centering prayer.

Once the timer has gone off you may open your eyes.



John 15



Eyes open or closed.

Begin Centering Prayer

Breathe in …            “Jesus let me,”

Breathe out…           “feel your love”

Or whichever prayer you choose.



Sit in silence before the Lord another 5- 10 minutes.



Thank the Lord for this time of sharing in the silence together.








JOHN 15:1-8




Lonetta Key

FPCH, Community


Jesus was the most profound teacher the world has ever known.  He utilized many mediums to illustrate His lessons. He ran the gamut from engaging His followers by employing what would appear to be riddles, to themes from nature that were very familiar to His audiences.  Such is the case in the passage today from which our topic is derived, John 15:1-8.      


Here the Master relates to the crowd with what might be classified as a parable of sorts.   He presents Himself as a vine and compares His listeners to branches growing from that vine.  (verse 5) And in verse 4 He stresses the fact that we must rely on Him. “‘…No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.’”  And as Christ continues with this analogy, He stresses the importance of producing fruit.


He says there are two benefits derived from being an integral part of Christ.  One, this Scripture emphatically declares that we will bear much fruit.  And in addition, “‘…ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’” (verse 7)


But going back a bit, Verse 1 presents a very interesting scenario.   “‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.’”  This process relies on a duel and joint effort.  Jesus is the vine and His Father is the Caretaker—He does the pruning and cleaning.  (The Greek word can be translated as both.)  As the Gardener, we can count on the Heavenly Father to be doing some pruning that might at times seem severe.  But it enables us to be even more fruitful.  Consequently, there will be a bit of pain experienced in this relationship.  Not only is it for our betterment, it is also indicative that we are fruitful.  Because God only prunes the branches that are bearing fruit.


I have had the privilege of rose bushes in my garden and they are a prime example of Jesus’ homily.  In the winter they are brutally pruned.  This is necessary to ensure prolific blooming the next season.  Or one might say for their own good.


Returning to our text, Christ also provides us with an option.  If we remain attached to the vine, we will bear much fruit.  But should we decide we no longer are in need of being affixed to Jesus, the result is we will wither, be thrown away, and tossed into the fire.  Just like discarded dead branches off a tree or plant.        


If a branch on any type of living vegetation gets broken or severed in some way, it quickly dies because it is no longer capable of receiving needed sustenance.  In the same manner as in nature so it is with us.  When we allow our fellowship and communication with our divine vine to be damaged or impaired in any way our souls start to shrivel.  Christians must rely on Christ for nourishment to promote our growth.  As branches, we are completely dependent on the support of the Vine as our source of spiritual nutrition.


Farther down in this chapter in verse 16, Jesus amplifies on the subject of fruit bearing.  As followers of Christ we have been “appointed” to bear “fruit that will last.”  So, a plausible question might be what is the lasting fruit we are supposed to produce?   The Lord gives us one answer in the verse that follows—we are to demonstrate love for each other.  Another applicable Scripture is Galatians 5:22,23.  “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…”


Verse 8 is a crucial summation of our consideration:

The what— that you bear much fruit

 The why—This is to my Father’s glory 

The reason—showing yourselves to be disciples.


Dear Jesus Christ, with your empowering strength, give us fortitude and sense of urgency so that we might thrive and flourish as submitted and surrendered branches; that we might adhere and cleave to Your vine with compliant reliance.







JOHN 15:9-17


Read, pray, and meditate.

Richard Gomez, FPCH Youth Ministries


At the very core of the Christian experience is a love freely given by God that therefore becomes a love freely extended by his beloved. But it can be so easy to become blinded by the seeming simplicity of the command to love, that our ability to love slowly but inevitably dwindles, becoming stifled by what we mistakenly assume to be more advanced theological concern and study. But what is so dangerous about forgetting and neglecting the command to love, is that the desire and inclination to love and be loved is not so much discarded or forgotten, as much as it is destructively misplaced and disjointed. We never stop loving and we never stop desiring to be loved, but we can seek its comforting affection in all the wrong places and in all the wrong people; turning what is beautiful, poisonous. Christ calls his beloved to remember, and never forget, all the ways he has “loved you.”


The anthropologist Ernest Becker wrote a book called The Denial of Death, where he sought to answer a basic question: why do modern people who do not believe in God so deeply desire to be affirmed through love? Well, he believes it is because every person deeply desires to be relentlessly pursued by an affection worthy enough and therefore capable enough, to approve and justify. One way Ernest Becker points out, the modern person seeks this out is through romantic-love relationships that inevitably “deify” the love-partner, burdening them with expectations to provide us with a love capable of redemption; something we cannot, as sinners, provide:

“Modern… people still need to feel like their lives matter… They still need to feel that there is some higher meaning, and that they have experienced some kind of great love. But if there is no longer any God how are we supposed to do this? One of the first ways that occurred to the modern person, was what’s been called the romantic solution. The self-glorification that we need in our innermost being, now in many cases we look to get from our love partner. The lover becomes the way to fulfill one’s life… What is it we want when we elevate the love partner to the position of God? We want redemption; nothing less. We… want to be justified… we turn to the love partner for validation, expect them to make us good, to make us real through love. Needless to say, human beings cannot do this.”


No love relationship will ever be capable of providing us with redemption; no love partner will ever be found or proved worthy enough to qualify you; no love partner will ever have the emotional and relational capacity to make you feel worthy, because they will never be worthy enough to provide you with such redemption. Only Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father, the anchor of our hope and the foundation of our confession, has the authoritative intimacy, through the Holy Spirit, to provide you with a love that redeems. He is worthy to love you in a way that fundamentally changes you. Christ calls his beloved to remember, and never forget,  all the ways he has always “loved you.”


Beloved of the Father, Christ Jesus wants us to love him so that we can abundantly-overflow Christian love for each other, that we might “remain” and abide in his “joy.” But you might ask how; how does a Christian remain and abide? Well, it begins by first being convinced that we must never feel indebted to Jesus for the love he has freely given, as if it was a love we have achieved and are therefore owed. If we do not get this first step right within our hearts, we will be stingy and unforgiving in our love, assuming our neighbors must achieve, merit, and therefore earn our love. Christ calls his beloved to remember, and never forget, all the ways he has always “loved you.”


In the novel Pachinko, a young woman named Sunja, becomes pregnant by a man who never wanted to marry her, so he offers to purchase her and her child a home because he felt indebted to her, but refused to commit himself to her because he did not love her, and as a result Sunja could not trust him. A pastor named Isak enters the narrative, who after some prayer and deliberation feels moved and called by God to marry Sunja and be a father to her unborn child. Isak, speaks to Sunja’s mother about this, and this is a crucial portion of their conversation that reveals the motivation of Isak’s heart:


“I’ll [Sunja’s mom] speak to her [Sunja] right away, sir. She’ll be grateful.’ Isak got quiet. He wanted to know how to say this next thing properly. ‘I don’t want that,’ he said… ‘I’d like to ask her, to ask her about her heart. I’d like to know if she could love me one day’… it had occurred to [Isak] that… he wanted a wife who’d love him, not just feel indebted to him.”


Beloved, if the Creator and Redeemer has qualified you to receive his love and redemption, what, or who, disqualifies you from abundantly overflowing that same love into the lives of your neighbors, here and now? If the Father of all mercies has adopted you into his eternal and universal family, where Christ is King, the one who has chosen you to be holy and blameless before him, that you never feel indebted to him, but that you bear fruit and reflect his mercies here and now, how can we not trust in him? Christ calls his beloved to remember, and never forget, all the ways he has always “loved you.”


Understanding the love of Christ in its fullness is vital for the church’s application of that love, because it grants us a vibrant and confident posture of trust that beckons us to remember, not only whose image we reflect, but in whose likeness we have been called to imitate. And in imitating Christ we receive the ability to love our neighbors without expecting anything in return, never assuming their response (positive or negative) could ever be the justification for investing our love to begin with. Beloved FPCH, as we understand this we will become and always remain, a community which provides never ending mercies for our neighbors, both in our moments of plenty and in our moments of need, because the love we have been commanded to give is neither governed nor defined by our moments of plenty, or robbed and stripped from us in our moments of need. You see, even our moments of need proves the genuineness of the One we trust to inform our loves and form our mercies, because his affection for us never runs dry. Our ability to love is secured by a far deeper and far more profound reality. Christ calls his beloved to remember, and never forget, all the ways he has always “loved you.”


As I reach our devotional’s conclusion, I want to encourage you FPCH, my beloved church family, to walk in and therefore abide within Christ’s faithfulness for you. The scriptures assume that those who have faith in Jesus have received a deep well of affection from which to draw our Christian loves and mercies, precisely because we have been created in the image of a God of profound affection, who longs for the lost to know him. We must ask however, if our motivations and intentions for loving are holy, and if they are, much like Jesus, FPCH will be a gravitational and magnetic force as we engage our neighbors all throughout Hollywood, because we will be a shining city on a hill, radiating the authentic and genuine conviction of the gospel, not because we lack, but precisely because Christ has provided.  Christ calls his beloved to remember, and never forget, all the ways he has always “loved you.”

FPCH, such a life is available to you and me; not because such a life is achieved, but because such a life is freely received.





JOHN 15:18-19





Today’s practice will be Lectio Divina, the literally meaning “divine reading,” but better translated as “spiritual reading.” 

Lectio Divina comes to us from the earliest days of the church, in the 3rd century Origen practiced this “divine reading,” to describe a way of approaching Scriptures for the purpose of finding a personal message from God.

From the earliest days of the church to 2024, Lectio Divina continues to be a life-giving practice that draws us into intimacy with God that leads to real transformation.

Lectio Divina is broken up into 5 separate sections:

  1. SILENCO – Silence (we can use our Centering Prayer to help prepare.) Take 60 seconds (or more) in silent preparation for sacred reading.
  2. LECTIO – Listen to the text by reading out loud slowly and repeat 3 times.
  3. MEDITATO – Meditation – Reflect on what word, words, phrase or sentence that speaks to you from the text, then write it down.
  4. ORATIO – Pray – Pray as responding to the words, phrases, sentence that God has stirred in you.
  5. CONTEMPLATIO – Rest in the presence of God, allowing the words revealed to take root.[1]


  • SILENCIO – 60 seconds or more of silence 
  • LECTIO – Scripture read out loud slowly and repeated 3 times.
    • John 15:18-19
  • MEDITATIO – Reflection on a word, words, phrase, or sentence that speaks to you from the text. Hold onto it or write it down. 
  • ORATIO – Pray as responding to the words, phrase sentences that God has stirred in you.
  • CONTEMPLATIO – Rest in the presence of God allowing the words revealed to take root: 3 to 5 minutes. 
  • AMEN






JOHN 15:20-27



The haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.


This haiku is Holy Spirit inspired from John 15:

By Maria Monetta


Rooted in the vine, 

Bearing fruit that will endure, 

Witnessing to all. 


Maybe we all can be inspired to try and think of artistic, creative, and new ways to engage with Scripture this Lenten Season.





MARK 7:1-23





The following practice is called The Examen where one simply pauses to prayerfully reflect on your week with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


We invite you to set this prayer as a weekly rhythm every Saturday. Taking the same amount of time as you would for your regular Lectio Divina practice — pause, sit and review the experiences of this past week.


What has brought new life and joy this week?


Where have you seen Jesus revealed in a new or fresh way?


What has surprised or disturbed you this week?


Share with God an encounter that changed, challenged, or comforted you.


Ponder times when you may have resisted God’s guidance.  What has stopped you from being wholehearted?  Speak with the Lord about this.


Pray for the week to come, for God’s guiding hand in your life and your interactions with others.


Are there any Spiritual Disciplines you have committed to practice throughout Lent?  Ask the Lord for grace to remain faithful in those disciplines.


Closing Prayer

You have given all to me.

To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.

Give me only your love and your grace,

That is enough for me.



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