THIRD SATURDAY OF LENT, MARCH 19
Welcome to the Saturday Examen
Read John 15:9-12
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 the 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.
*from “Pray as You Go”
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, MARCH 20
YOU ARE FORGIVEN
Read 1 John 1:5-10
To confess your sins to God is not to tell him everything he doesn’t already know. Until you confess them however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.
The doctrine of forgiveness is the demand that the evil in the other shall be borne without vindictiveness because the evil in the self is known.
To forgive somebody is to say one way or another, “You have done something unspeakable, and by all rights I should call it quits between us. Both my pride and my principles demand no less. However, although I make no guarantees that I will be able to forget what you’ve done and though we may both carry the scars for life, I refuse to let it stand between us. I still want you for my friend. “To accept forgiveness,” means to admit that you’ve done something unspeakable that needs to be forgiven, and thus both parties must swallow the same thing, their pride!
- Take 5 min to sit with passage and maybe re-read it 2 or 3 ties slowly. Let the words of our Lord fill your soul and move you to ponder a new way to look at our call to forgive and be forgiven.
- As we get to know ourselves better and understand the depth of our own selfishness, does it become easier or more difficult to forgive the other?
- What is our motivation and call to forgive someone who has hurt us?
THIRD MONDAY OF LENT, MARCH 21
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
Read Matthew 5:14-16 and John 3:19-21
It is very easy to sit in judgement upon the behavior of others, but often difficult to realize that every judgment is a self-judgement.
-Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart
Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly among the righteous. So, we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. One who is alone with their sin is utterly alone.
Often, we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words. It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.
- Take a few minutes to sit with the scripture for the day. How does the light reflect in your daily life? How does darkness move in at unexpected times? Bring this before the Lord. Pray, “Lord let me be light in this world that can be filled with darkness.”
- Why do we behave differently in the light than in the dark?
- What is about the darkness that makes it conducive to improper behavior?
- Do you find yourself often blaming other people for their shortcomings? If so, what does this tell you about your own character.?
THIRD TUESDAY OF LENT, MARCH 22
ENTRUSTED WITH THE MESSAGE
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13
I suppose that if you really stop to think about it, having those with whom you work believe in you as a person of your word is something that most of us want very much. To be viewed by others as a man or woman of integrity is not only personally desirable, but of integral importance in the workplace. And if, in your dealings with people, you ever lose your integrity, you will not only have lost what is a very precious character trait, but you will have lost an essential requisite of an effective leader.
-Tony Campolo, Everything You’ve Heard is Wrong
This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day thou canst not then be false to any man.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
- Sit with the scripture passage for 5 min. What word, verse or phrase stands out to you. Bring this before God and pray on this and accept this as a gift from our Lord.
- Do people who know you well think of you as a person of integrity? Why or why not?
- If the people with whom you love and work were asked to describe you, what three of four adjectives do you think that they would use
FOURTH WEDNESDAY OF LENT, MARCH 23
THE LORD’S REST
Read Matthew 11:28-30 and John 14:1-7
Probably no word better summarizes the suffering of our time than the word “homeless”. It reveals one of our deepest and most painful conditions, the condition of not having a sense of belonging, of not having a place where we can feel safe, cared for, protected, and loved.
The first and most obvious quality of home is its intimacy. When we say, “I do not feel at home here” we express an uneasiness that does not permit intimacy. When we say, “I wish I were home” we express longing for the intimate place that offers us a sense of belonging. Even though many people suffer much from conflicts at home, even though much emotional suffering finds its roots at home, and even though “broken homes” are increasingly blame for crimes and illnesses, the word “home” continues to carry with it a warm love and remains one of the most evocative symbols for happiness. The Christian faith even calls us to experience life as “going home” and death as “coming home at last.”
-Henri Nouwen, Lifesigns: Intimacy, Fecundity, and Ecstasy in Christian Perspective
- Take 5 min and meditate on our scripture reading for the day. What comes to the forefront of your heart when you read of God’s rest?
- What images come to your mind when you think of the word “Home”?
- If someone asked you, “Where is your home?” How would you reply?
FOURTH THRURSDAY OF LENT, MARCH 24
THE LIVING STONE
Read 1 Peter 2:1-10
Now with God’s help, I shall become myself.
One of God’s best surprises is the one that comes as a result of believing and belonging. That surprising gift of identity. When I find God and become a part of hi family, I suddenly discover who I am I am not who my parents told me I was. I am not who my family and friends tell me I am. I am not who my culture and society tell me I am. As I believe and belong, I begin to find my true self.
It is a discovery of enormous value in living life day by day. If I know who I am, then all else falls into place. I know where I belong where I am going, what companions and equipment I will need for the journey. Beyond that, I begin to understand what kind of work I am most suited for and what makes my moods go up and down. Identity is the philosopher’s stone of the soul. I sought God for Himself, and He surprised me in revealing my true nature.
-Bruce Larson, Believe and Belong
The issue here is this. To whom do I belong? To God or to the world? Many of my daily preoccupations suggest I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. Often, I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely as the mercy of its waves.
- Sit with the 1 Peter passage for 5 min. What moves in you and what words or images come to mind as you meditate on this scripture.
- Do you ever find yourself tempted to define your identity in terms of what you do and what you have instead of who you are?
- How do you react to the above quote by Bruce Larson’s statement that we discover ourselves when we discover God?
FOURTH FRIDAY OF LENT, MARCH 25
A THIRST FOR GOD
Read Psalm 63:1-11
It is the most basic human loneliness that threatens us and is hard to face. To often we will do everything possible to avoid the confrontation with the experience of being alone, and sometimes we are able to create the most ingenious devices to prevent ourselves from being reminded of this condition. Our culture has become most sophisticated in the avoidance of pain, not only our physical pain but out emotional and mental pain as well… We have become so used to this state of anesthesia that we panic when there is nothing or nobody left to distract us.
When we have no project to finish, no friend to visit, no book to read, no television to watch or no record to play, and when we are left all alone by ourselves we are brought so close to the revelation of our basic human aloneness and are afraid of experiencing an all-pervasive sense of loneliness that we will do anything to get busy again and continue the game which makes us believe that everything is fine after all. No friend or lover, no husband or wife, no community or commune will be able to put to rest our deepest cravings for unity and wholeness. Only God will ultimately satisfy us.
- Take 3-5 min to meditate and reflect on the Psalm we read today. What words are comfort or words that challenge us to “thirst for God”?
- Do you believe that one of the reasons we are so busy as a society is to avoid facing the reality of our own loneliness?
- We need to move from the feeling of loneliness to solitude. Solitude is a place where we are comfortable with being alone. Where are you in your movement from loneliness to solitude?