FIFTH SATURDAY OF LENT, APRIL 2
Read II Corinthians 5:17-21
What has brought you 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”
FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT, APRIL 3
Read II Corinthians 13:5-9
It is far better to soak in five pages of substance than to read 500 pages of fluff!
The Bible isn’t “just another book” with a lot of interesting information about God. It is a book in which people find God “coming alive”, making (God’s) way into their hearts and demanding that they do something about (God).
-Robert McAfee Brown, The Bible Speaks to You
Christianity in America is 3000 miles wide and 1/16 of an inch deep. We are shallow Christians!
-Dr. Richard Halverson, Chaplain if the US Senate
- Sit with the scripture for 5 minutes. What grabs at your heart when you meditate on these passages?
- Do you want to mature in your faith and go deeper with Jesus Christ?
- What are you currently involved in that is helping you to do that?
- Have you committed yourself to weekly practices and disciplines that grows and matures your faith? Think of things you may add or subtract during Lent to deepen your faith…
FIFTH MONDAY OF LENT, APRIL 4
Read John 13:34-35
Community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives.
I really only love God as much as I love the person I love least.
The ministry of bearing with one another is more than simply tolerating difficult people. It is also learning to hear God speak through them. It is learning to be for them. It is learning that the difficult person I have most deal with me is…me!
-John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted
Without friendships, no one would choose to live, even if the had all other good things in life.
- Spend 5 minutes and meditate on the John passage today. It may be one we know well. Ask God to give you a fresh hearing and reading of the scripture today. What do you hear Christ calling you to do?
- Think of a difficult person for you to love. Why is it so hard to love this person?
- Who are your closest friends? Do you check in with them regularly and make them a priority in your life?
FIFTH TUESDAY OF LENT, APRIL 5
Read Romans 5:1-5
Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
When one door closes, another one opens. But we look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
-Alexander Graham Bell
Loss creates a barren present, as if one were sailing on a vast sea of nothingness. Those who suffer loss live suspended between a past for which they long and a future for which they hope. They want to return to the harbor of the familiar past and recover what was lost. Or they want to sail on and discover a meaningful future that promises to bring them life again. Instead, they find themselves living in a barren present empty of meaning.
-Gerald Sittser, A Grace Disguised
- Take some time to meditate on the Romans 5 passage. What is God placing on your heart today about the peace and hope that comes through Christ even in suffering.
- Have you ever kept staring at the closed door, as Alexander Graham Bell exclaims, and miss the open door in front of you? How did you feel when the “one door closed”?
- Is there an area of your life in which you are suffering or experiencing a loss? What helps you to live through this season?
SIXTH WEDNESDAY OF LENT, APRIL 6
TAMING THE TONGUE
Read James 3:1-12
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer.
If I’ve achieved anything in my life, it is because I have not been embarrassed to talk about God.
Words are precious cups of meaning that allow human beings to enter into community. Words, however, can also become weapons when they emerge from the mouths of those who seek to dominate rather than to love and serve.
-St Augustine of Hippo (who earned his living teaching Roman citizens the art of persuasive speech before becoming a Christian bishop)
- Read though the scripture from James. Let the words sink deep into your heart. Did God give you a gift of a word, verse or phrase that stood out to you? Sit with it in silent meditation with our Lord.
- Why does James say that the “tongue is a fire”? What does that mean in your experience?
- Do you have difficulty talking about what you believe?
- In what kind of setting do you feel most comfortable talking about your faith and life in Christ?
SIXTH THURSDAY OF LENT, APRIL 7
BE GREAT, BE A SERVANT
Read Matthew 20:20-28
A good manager does not put himself or herself above the other workers. Instead, a good manager makes every employee aware of his or her importance and how much is depending on how well each job is done. Rather than striking fear in the workers by telling them that nobody’s indispensable, a loving manager humbly elevates those who work under him or her by letting them know how essential they are.
-Tony Campolo, Everything You’ve Heard is Wrong
The deepest craving of every human being is the craving to be appreciated.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
- Take 5 min and meditate on the passage from Matthew. What’s something new that stands out to you from this reading?
- Have you ever worked for or with someone who built you up and helped discover your full potential? Have you ever worked for or with someone who “put you down” and stifled your creativity?
- Do the people who have regular contact with you know that you appreciate them?
SIXTH FRIDAY OF LENT, APRIL 8
DID TO THE LEAST OF THESE
Read Matthew 25:31-46
Energy comes to us because we get involved in something bigger than ourselves and our hearts have been moved by people’s suffering, and we can’t remain neutral.
-Sister Helen Prejean (A nun with a ministry of compassion to death row inmates)
Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things… as to do ordinary things with perception of their enormous value.
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
There are two great days in a person’s life; the day you were born and the day you discover why.
- Take 5 min and sit in silence before God. What moved in you when you read todays scripture from Matthew? Sit with anything that is encouraging or hard to hear.
- As you read the quotation from Sister Helen Prejean, ask yourself: am I involved in something bigger than myself?
- The quote by Pierre Teilhard, does it contradict the quote by Sister Helen or do the two complement each other in some way?
- How are you living for Christ? Do you feel this is a season that God can use you in remarkable ways while doing ordinary things that have enormous value?