2nd WEEK OF LENT
Theme of the Week:
Entrance into Jerusalem
“THESE PEOPLE HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT…”
by Lonetta Key
Listen. You can easily understand the words being raised with loud voices. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38) And do you hear it? It is the sound of palm leaves, thrown into the road in celebration, crunching under the hooves of the donkey as he bears the weight of the Savior. You may have to strain a bit but if you listen closely, you can detect the disgruntled murmurings of those who did not want Jesus to be honored—who wanted to quiet the voices of acknowledgment of His teachings and miracles. But something we cannot hear are the anguished thoughts of Christ as He contemplated the hostile turn in demeanor of this crowd in the near future.
Ah yes. This is the event we refer to as the Triumphal Entry. But just how triumphal was it? It was a homage that was fleeting, superficial, existing only on the surface. It became apparent that in no way was it being exhibited from the heart nor was it soul penetrating. This throng was simply caught up in the momentum of the crowd. All exterior show with no interior substance. We know this because in a short period of time these same voices were even louder expressing an entirely different sentiment. This time they allowed the dark energy of evil to propel them into a frenzy that would forever haunt them.
But now, here is an opportunity for self-examination in these holy weeks of focused contemplation. Just how do we pay tribute to our King? Oh we can so easily be dissuaded from purposeful, vital engagement with our Savior. Too often our service to the Lord is only a shallow, feeble effort of seemingly attempting to placate Him.
So let us commit to laying down palm leaves of enduring, unwavering, eternal significance. Let us spread garments of praise and adoration at the feet of the Lord, supported by actions that resound with devoted, unending intensity. Let us with hearts pulsing with sincerity pray for Christ’s triumphal entry into the core of our being.
(The post is taken from Luke 19:28-44. And the title is from Matthew 15:8)
Lonetta Key and her husband Leo have been a part of the FPCH community for over 10 years. Lonetta grew up in the “church” and become a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ at a very young age. She is prayer partner with our Community Care and Life Team here at FPCH.
She has been active in Christ’s ministry all her life in a variety of venues including women’s ministry, headline speaker at women’s rallies and church assemblies, music minister, Sunday School teacher, and Seniors’ ministry.
Lonetta also has a wonderful blog, Living Before God’s Face.
MONDAY 6 MARCH 2023
SECOND MONDAY OF LENT
I let unwanted thoughts depart…allow my breath to even out…prepare myself for He who comes…
“Lord Jesus Christ son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
In through the nose…
And exhale out through the mouth…
“Lord Jesus Christ son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
I begin by setting the scene of today’s reflection in my mind…
Jerusalem’s shroud is her walls, stone after stone built upon stone, her shadows enfolding a city, at whose gateway the crowds await, bustling with expectation, the coming of He who comes… I stand before those city gates…
I ask for the grace to recognize Jesus as he enters Jerusalem…or whatever it is that I need at this moment…
READ: Matthew 21:1-11
MEDITATION and REFLECTION:
As you stand at the gates of the city watching the bystanders’ reaction, let your gaze rest upon Jesus as he approaches… who is it that makes his way through the crowd…? A political leader…? A majestic King…? or a simple man riding on a donkey…? What is it about him that makes you want to follow him into the city of Jerusalem?
As you these words again, what are the sentiments that are aroused in your heart as Jesus approaches Jerusalem?
READ: Matthew 21:1-11
Speak to Jesus, as one friend speaks to another, tell him about your hopes and dreams, and listen to his response…
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit…
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
*Pray as You Go; Matthew 21:1-11
TUESDAY 7 MARCH 2023
SECOND TUESDAY OF LENT
Lectio Divina is broken up into 5 separate sections:
- SILENCO – Silence (we can use our Centering Prayer to help prepare.) Take 60 seconds (or more) in silent preparation for sacred reading.
- LECTIO – Listen to the text by reading out loud slowly and repeat 3 times.
- MEDITATO – Meditation – Reflect on what word, words, phrase or sentence that speaks to you from the text, then write it down.
- ORATIO – Pray – Pray as responding to the words, phrases, sentence that God has stirred in you.
- CONTEMPLATIO – Rest in the presence of God, allowing the words revealed to take root.
- SILENCIO – 60 seconds or more of silence
- LECTIO – Scripture read out loud slowly and repeated 3 times.
- John 4:43-54
- 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.
WEDESDAY 8 MARCH 2023
THIRD WEDNESDAY OF LENT
- K. Chesterton wrote a beautiful poem about a mournful donkey, and only mentions Jesus’s entry to Jerusalem in passing, without naming the day. You have to be familiar with the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on the back of a donkey to catch the allusion. Chesterton was an English poet, art critic and Christian apologist. He converted to Roman Catholicism from the Church of England and spent much of his time and energy as a writer with spiritual work. The poem here, “The Donkey” is a delightful poem on so many levels, and no matter what the donkey’s sad, disrespected voice is familiar to anyone who has ever felt less than loved.
by G. K. Chesterton
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
THURSDAY 9 MARCH 2023
THIRD THURSDAY OF LENT
FROM THE COMMUNITY:
By Maria Monetta-Burke
King, where is your crown?
Joy in the City of Peace
Pray, save us, O Lord!
This Haiku I wrote for the entry into Jerusalem. Jerusalem was known as the City of “Peace.” The translation for Hosanna is Pray, save us.
I tried to encapsulate the fact that when Jesus entered Jerusalem the people recognized Jesus as the King of Kings and as their Savior.
FRIDAY 10 MARCH 2023
THIRD FRIDAY OF LENT
Today’s practice will be a written prayer. Some of may feel that it takes away from the personal connection with God and the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit. The prayers just become words and we rattle them off without much thought. They become disconnected and routine but that is not entirely true. The value of written prayer is substantial and can lead to a deeper understanding and spiritual growth in our prayer life.
First, we get connected with the worldwide church. Throughout the history of the church written prayer has been at the heart of worship, community life and Christian daily walk. A great example is the “Lord’s Prayer.” Written down in scripture and recited over the centuries.
Second, when we write our own prayers it expands our prayer vocabulary. Do you ever find yourself asking or petitioning for the same thing over and over. Or you may feel like you get in a rut and may feel your prayers are not rich or praiseworthy. When we read written prayers and write our own our prayer language expands. So, when we do participate in spontaneous prayer, we have a fuller set of words and images to address God.
Third, we can go to the Old and New Testaments and find liturgical prayers. The OT is filled with prayers used by God’s people. The Psalms are a great example of the written prayer either read or sung. Jesus participates in the worship life of the community in Luke 4:16, praying from the scroll. Jesus probably recited the Shema (Duet 6:4) twice a day, as did Paul, and any other pious Jew, and *prayed other prayers in worship. Paul’s letters and letters to the early church used the written prayer (2 Cor 13:14, Phil 2:5-11, 1Timothy1:17,Juse 24-25).
Finally, written prayers give us the structure and outline that enriches and supports our own private prayers. We begin with the words of others and soon we pray these like they are in our own words. (Richard Peace, Meditative Prayers, Session 6, Written Prayers, pg. 64-65)
CS Lewis commented on written prayer, “It does not matter very much who first put them together. If they are our own words they will soon, by unavoidable repetition, harden into a formula. If the are someone else’s, we shall continually pour into them our own meaning,” (CS Lewis, Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer, pg. 11).
Take some time today and write down a prayer to the Lord. Pray it throughout the day.
Below we have a prayer that was written be a church member about Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. They asked that there name not be used and praise God to offer this prayer to the community but most of all to our Lord Jesus.
Your Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet He without sin:
We reflect upon our Savior riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and consider this celebration of recognition – cloaks and palm branches strewn in his path with cries of Hosanna! – joy in adoration – yet contemplate where this journey is leading.
May we rejoice in each moment of our journey of revelation and daily surrender to His will and the way of the cross.
Lord God give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Saturday 11 March 2023
THIRD SATURDAY IN LENT
- 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.
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.