Just to let all our readers know that while there will be a bunch of Lent devotional entries, quotes and prayers posted from Friday – Sunday, I don’t expect to be able to update the Lent 2010 index again until sometime on Sunday afternoon, as I’ll be offline all weekend. So make good use of the category links to see the latest posts:
Over at Northern Plains Anglicans, in addition to posting the short daily Lenten reflection for his congregation, Fr. Tim Fountain has a posted a parishioner’s talk at a school chapel on the nature of sin:
Sin is imitation of God, Augustine tells us. But how can this be so? After all, saints from Saint Paul to Thomas à Kempis reminds us that we are to imitate Christ; and Christ, we are told, is God the Son. So surely imitation of God is no sin?
But sometimes, we imitate not in order to give honor but in order to take it. We imitate what we hope to avoid, or what we hope to replace. The con man imitates good deals, the usurper imitates the rightful ruler, or the teenager imitates a legal adult with an imitation ID card. This kind of imitation is mockery, and it is based in the lie that says we don’t need the one we are mocking.
Go read it all, and don’t forget to check Northern Plains Anglicans daily!
Father in heaven,
Jesus performed few miracles in Nazareth due to an atomosphere of intellectual offense. What intellectual offenses are in my atomosphere?
I want more of You, Lord.
I am blind. Teach me to recognize the lies I believe. Help me to throw them off, like Bartimaus casting away his beggar’s cloak. Send angels to remove the stumbling blocks in my spirit and in the atmosphere around me.
I want more of You, Lord. I want more of You. Amen.
Matthew 13:36-43, 57-58, Mark 10:50
Good news! I mentioned in my entry Lent 2010 Around the Blogosphere that I hoped Tara at Story-formed would resume blogging for Lent. She has!
She has a new post Lent & Kids #2 – here’s an excerpt:
I have a few moments of quiet and just thought I’d share a few things we are going to do as a family to observe this Lenten season together:
During a conversation around our breakfast table, we discussed Lent and the stories or images that are often associated with it. From these stories we decided to form some activities that our family will engage in during the next 40 days.
1. Prayer – this is a no brainer, but prayer is at the very heart of Lent. We ask God to “create in us a clean heart”, to help us see ourselves and Him ever more clearly, and to deepen our union with Him. Because of this, we are going to set up a little prayer space in our house. It will be a corner with a little table, a candle, a prayer book, a bible and whatever else our kids decide to add to it. Both of them struggle with prayer (they think it is boring!) so there may be some unconventional items in our prayer space. However, the point is to create a space that reminds us to pray and helps take us further into our prayer practice.
2. Tie-Dye – As we talked about the imagery of Lent being the dying to self and Easter being the risen to new life, baptism naturally came up. In the process of the conversation, my husband shared with us that “baptism” was the word they used when they dyed fabric. What went in one color took on a new color after being dipped in the dye. I thought that was a beautiful picture of us sharing in the life of Christ – of being baptized into Him – and coming out colored by His life, death and resurrection. So….we are going to do a couple types of dyeing experiments. The first will be taking black shirts and using bleach on them (the idea being that He has washed us whiter than snow). The second will be taking white shirts and tie dyeing them to give us a physical picture of our lives taking on the colors of Jesus.
Go read the full entry here – there’s a lovely short reflection at the end!
Tara’s 2009 Lent & Kids post is here.
Thanks to Phil at Deacon’s Slant blog for recently posting these two wonderful poems – they serve as wonderful Lenten meditations:
Philosphers have measured mountains,
Fatholmed the depths of seas, of states, and kings,
Walked with a staff to heaveN, and traced fountains:
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it does more behoove:
Yet few there are that sounds them, Sin and Love.
Whoever would know Sin, let him repair:
Unto mount olivet; there he shall see
A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skin, his garments bloody be.
Sin is that press and vice which forces pain
To hunt his cruel food through every vein.
Whoever does not know Love,
let him assayAnd taste that juice, which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach; then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine
Which my God feels as blood, but I as wine,
Lord, how I am all with fever, when I seek
What I have treasured in my memory!
Since, if my soul makes even with the week,
Every seventh note by right is due to thee.
I find there quarries of piled vanities,
But shreds of holiness, that dare not venture
to show their face, since cross to thy decrees:
There to circumference earth is, heaven center.
In so much dregs he quintessence is small.
The spirit and good extract of my heart
Comes to about the many hundreth part.
Yet, Lord, restore thine image, hear my call.
And though my hart heart scarcely can to the groan
Remember that thou once didst write in stone.
All, my sincere apologies! Somehow the links in my Lent 2010 post got very messed up, and I just realized they were all wrong!
I’ve fixed them now.
Update: there is now a Lent category at Anglican Mainstream. You’ll find the daily Lenten devotionals here.
Here’s the link at Anglican Mainstream
You can also download all of the meditations for Lent 1 at the Church of the Resurrection’s website.
I’m posting today’s reflection here in full below, particularly as the Epistle lesson today from Philippians 3 is something I and my teammates have been using as a theme for prayer and reflection for the past 3 weeks. This is very relevant for me today!
Don’t miss also Torre Bissell’s wonderful prayer through Phil 3. I think Torre’s lectionary prayers are a wonderful example of a form of “Lectio Divina” as recommended today in the Lenten reflection!
|Hab 3:1-18||Phil 3:12-21||Lk 9:22-25|
Thursday After Ash Wednesday – Colman of Lindisfarne, Bishop and Missionary, 676
LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: A disciple of St. Columba born in Connaught, Ireland. He was a bold voice at the Synod of Whitby defending the Celtic celebration of Gospel against those who insisted on the Roman rites and practices. He resisted the decision of Whitby and led a group of Irish and English monks to the Isle of Innishboffin, near Connaught and then onto Mayo. He was committed to the liturgy and formation and was highly regarded by the likes of Alcuin and St. Bede.
MEDITATION OF THE DAY: Jesus clearly states what we as Christian followers need to do in order to live in Christ. In the gospel story today Jesus says to his disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Like Colman centuries ago, at times stand against the tide of popularity for the conviction of the Gospel.
We must make a choice. This choice is between self-denial which is initially seen by us as a hardship; versus the call God gives to us to make it a lifestyle. God asks us to give up our lives to him daily, not just during Lent. He asks us to continue to choose to find him and become closer to him in order to spend eternal life with him and witness that promise to the world.
Lent is the time to name what the obstacles are in our life that is sinful, unhealthy and self-centered. The essential choice this season is a “change of heart” from the circumstances, attitudes, and other behaviors that contribute to my living outside the bounds of grace in Christ Jesus.
PRAYER OF THE DAY: Lord, teach us to enter more deeply into the mysteries of this Holy Season that the power of this season may be more effective for ourselves and for the world as we seek the sacrament of salvation. Amen
ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: ““For though I am bound for the name of Christ, I am not yet perfect in Jesus Christ. For now I begin to be a disciple, and I speak to you as fellow disciples with me. For it was needful for me to have been stirred up by you in faith, exhortation, patience, and long-suffering”. – St. Ignatius of Antioch
Lenten Discipline – Rise early this day and consider practicing Lectio Divina on today’s lessons as a new discipline for your spiritual Journey. Go to http://www.thedome.org/SeekGodWithUs/NourishSpiritOnline/WaysOfPrayer/ContemplativePrayer/Lectio.html
From our archives…
Peggy Noonan has this observation in her Wall Street Journal commentary yesterday:
Earlier this week I heard a minister quote a spiritual genius: “All the problems in the world are caused by man’s inability to sit quietly in a room by himself.” We’re restless and need action, which in a modern media world means information. We need the busy buzz–the Internet, TV, instant messages, magazines and newspapers, the beeps and boops and bops. Rudy’s up in Iowa. Hillary’s stuck. We want to be among the first to have this information and the first to share it. And we want it not because it’s crucial but because it distracts us from the crucial. It takes our minds away from what is most important. Who you are, for instance, or what we are about. It’s a great relief not to think about the important. It’s a relief to focus on factoids. [link]
Patrick Allen noted it on his blog under the title “Lent & the Crucial.”
May the Lord grant us grace this Lent to learn to love times of silence, to nurture times in which we focus on the important, when we tune out every voice and distraction and turn our eyes to the Lord and hear what He is speaking to our hearts.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Philippians 3:12)
Jesus, thank you for laying hold of my life; help me press on day by day this Lent; help me answer the upward call.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, (Philippians 3:13)
Holy Spirit, please help me find the freedom to let go of past burdens and press on to what is ahead.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
Holy Father, though I see through a glass dimly, help me keep my eyes on the prize: life forever in your presence.
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (Philippians 3:15)
Father, bring us to maturity and give us a quiet common mind about the truth of the gospel. Thank you.
Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. (Philippians 3:16)
Holy Spirit, please help us throughout this diocese to have the same mind which was also in Christ Jesus.
Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (Philippians 3:17)
Jesus, please raise up leaders and teachers throughout your church who will be effective ministers and mentors of your grace and mercy. Thank you.
A word received: You are in my care; don’t be afraid.
Thursday: 37:19-42; Habakkuk 3:1-10(11-15)16-18; Philippians 3:12-21; John 17:1-8
Friday: 35; Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32; Philippians 4:1-9; John 17:9-19