Lent 2013: Index of all our 2013 Lent Entries

March 3, 2014

Our Lenten blogging was a bit sporadic here at Lent & Beyond in 2013 (unlike 2012 when we blogged pretty much every day of Lent – you can find our 2012 Lent posts index here.)  But although the quantity of posts was less, there are some entries that are very worth revisiting.  Here’s an index, by primary category, of all our Lent posts during 2013:

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Devotionals:

A Musical Confession for Lent: Crippled Soul, by Sojourn

Lenten Devotional Reflection on John 3 – Coming Into the Light

A Lenten Meditation on the Golden Calf and Our Own Sin

A Practical Suggestion for Lent – Remembering God’s Goodness and Grace

A Musical Prayer for an Ash Wednesday Evening

“The Lenten Call” – a poem by Teresa Roberts Johnson

A Great Essay by Mark Galli for Lent – Lent is Not Just Another Self-Improvement Routine

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Prayers:

A Prayer for Wednesday in Holy Week

Lent Prayers – A Puritan Prayer to Cling to Christ and Rest on Him

Lent Prayers: Forgive what our lips tremble to name

Scotty Smith’s Ash Wednesday Prayer: “Over these next forty days give us an insatiable hunger for yourself”

A Musical Prayer for an Ash Wednesday Evening

Ash Wednesday: A favorite prayer from St. Augustine

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Quotes:

A Holy Week and Good Friday Reflection – St. Augustine

A quote for Maundy Thursday – Christ washes our hearts, not just our feet

Lent Quotes: St. John Chrysostom on the Study of Scripture

Lent Quotes – JC Ryle: The Things Which Murder Souls

Lent Quotes: John Owen on daily mortification of the flesh

Lent Quotes: Pope Benedict XVI – Returning to the Lord “with all your heart”

Lent Quotes: David Fischler – Lent is really NOT about self-examination

Lent Quotes: Dean Robert Munday – What Lent Should Really Be All About

A quote from Pope Benedict XVI – appropriate as we prepare for Lent

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Resources:

Kendall Harmon’s excellent Ash Wednesday posts

A roundup of Ash Wednesday posts

Recommended Blogs and Links for Lent 2013

 

 


A Holy Week and Good Friday Reflection – St. Augustine

March 28, 2013

Man’s maker was made man . . . that the Bread might hunger, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired on its journey, that Truth might be accused of false witness, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might grow weak; that the Healer might be wounded; that Life might die.

St. Augustine, Sermons 191.1

H/T All Saints Church, Chapel Hill


A quote for Maundy Thursday – Christ washes our hearts, not just our feet

March 28, 2013

From today’s prayer by Scotty Smith at his blog, Heavenward, these beautiful words about Maundy Thursday:

Your disrobing to wash their feet was with a full view to your being stripped naked to wash their hearts, and our hearts as well. What wondrous love is this indeed! How wide, long, high, and deep, is your love for the ill-deserving.

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). This is the new and never-ending mandate we’re now under as your disciples. Grace doesn’t free us from this command, but for this command. Don’t let me ever forget that the measure of your love is not just the basin and towel of the upper room, but your cross and your death at Calvary. There simply is no greater love to be found—none.

The full post is here.


A Prayer for Wednesday in Holy Week

March 27, 2013

From Pastor Scotty Smith and his Heavenward prayer blog, comes this great prayer for Wednesday in Holy Week – a confession of who Christ is, and an admission of how much yet we have to understand about His love and His salvation:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ?” Matt. 22:41-42

Dear Lord Jesus, just a few days after riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, you confronted the Pharisees, with the same question you still put before us: “What do you think about the Christ?”

There’s no more important question with which to wrestle, at any season in life or in any state of faith. For what we think about you affects everything about us. Please continue to free us from all wrong notions we have about you—those generated in our fallen hearts; the ones that come to us from the father of lies, Satan; others which simply reveal our complete absence of knowledge, or the wrong and incomplete teaching we have received through the years.

But what do I think about you today, Lord Jesus? What do I believe in my heart? You are everlasting God, and I am a mere man. I would despair if you were anything less, and I am weary of trying to be more. You are the Creator, Sustainer, and Restorer of all things. You don’t just care about my soul; you care about everything you have made and you are making all things new.

Lord Jesus, I affirm you to be the second Adam—our substitute in life and in death. You lived a life of perfect obedience for us, and you exhausted God’s judgment that stood against us. You are the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; the Lord of Lords, who is working in all things for our good and your glory; and the Light of the New Jerusalem, whose glory will illumine the new heaven and new earth forever.

By you, we have been completely forgiven; and in you, we have received your perfect righteousness. I humbly stake my life and my death upon what you’ve done for us. Lord Jesus, you are all this and so much more. Eternity will be an endless revelation of your glory and grace.

But this Holy Week, what stuns me the most is to realize you are always thinking about us. We are in your heart and on your mind all the time. You are always praying for us and advocating for us before the Father. You’re the One who knows us the best and loves us the most. You love us as only a perfect Bridegroom would and could. With fresh gratitude and awe, we worship you. So very Amen we pray, in your gracious name and for your everlasting glory.


Lent Quotes: St. John Chrysostom on the Study of Scripture

February 28, 2013

Lent is a season where many of us devote ourselves to a discipline of more regular and in-depth Scripture study.  This quotation from St. John Chrysostom reminds us why it is so important!

Let us give diligent heed to the study of Scripture. For in the tumult of life it will save you from suffering like those who are tossed by troubled waves. The sea rages, but you sail on with calm weather; for you have the study of the Scriptures for your pilot; this is the cable which the trials of life do not break asunder.

Let our soul weigh anchor in the reading of Scripture. For the study of Scripture is a haven without waves, a tower that is unshakeable, a glory that cannot be wrested away from anybody, a weapon that cannot be defeated, a joy that does not pall. In reading Scripture, the soul is relieved from harm, and enjoys much calm and peace.

~ St. John Chrysostom

h/t Creedal Christian


Lent Prayers – A Puritan Prayer to Cling to Christ and Rest on Him

February 25, 2013

I’ve been reflecting a lot on John 15 and what it means to abide in Christ lately, so I really appreciated this prayer posted by Trevin Wax over the weekend:

O Heavenly Father,
Teach me to see that if Christ has satisfied divine justice
He can also deliver me from my sins;
that Christ does not desire me, now justified,
to live in self-confidence in my own strength,
but gives me the law of the Spirit of life
to enable me to obey You;
that the Spirit and His power are mine by resting on Christ’s death…

You have taught me
that faith is nothing else than receiving Your kindness;
that it is an adherence to Christ,
a resting on Him,
love clinging to Him as a branch to the tree,
to seek life and vigor from Him.

-Puritan prayer (adapted)


A Musical Confession for Lent: Crippled Soul, by Sojourn

February 21, 2013

I was feeling restless and troubled yesterday about many things – especially the state of my own heart.  As I often do, I turned to music to help quiet my heart and help me turn to God.  But no familiar song seemed to echo what I needed to hear or wanted to pray.  So I went searching online for ….. something …  I’m honestly not sure how I stumbled on music by the Nashville worship group Sojourn, and just the song I needed to hear at this point in Lent, but I’m glad I did.  – Karen.

Crippled Soul:  LISTEN HERE

Oh, my crippled soul
So broken with my sin
With a nature so depraved
I’m so ashamed, so afraid
If I bring it up again
If you really look again
Will you change your mind
And never let me in

O Lord, please do anything but leave me here
Let me run again, or help me fly,
Or somehow make it right
But Lord, please don’t leave me here

And I hate what I am
All these things that you despise
The depravity that seems to be
At the core of who I am
So hide me from myself
Let me pretend I’m someone else
Someone with a pure
And holy heart

Is it any wonder then
That I should love to fly
Those moments when I touch you
And escape all that I am
Is it any wonder then
That I should do all that I can
To make it seem like I am whole
And worthy

Tell me Lord, what do you want
Do you plan to make me whole
Or leave me broken
And bring glory through your grace

– Rebecca Dennison

You can listen for free online to Sojourn’s music.  There are quite a number of songs on various albums that are very appropriate for Lent, including many songs adapted from hymns by Isaac Watts.  I intend to listen to more of their music…

Check out Over the GraveThe Water and the Blood  and Come Ye Sinners.  Learn more about Sojourn here.


Lenten Devotional Reflection on John 3 – Coming Into the Light

February 21, 2013

Today’s devotional Reflection from St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Talahassee, FL encouraged and challenged me. The passage discussed is John 3:16-21.  It’s an extremely familiar passage, but this devotional digs a bit deeper and provides a very apt practical application for Lent:

John 3:16-21 God So Loved the World

In this chapter, Christ is having the well-known “born again” conversation with the rabbi, Nicodemus. Christ has explained to him that this means you must be reborn of God’s Spirit and be led by Him, completely relying and trusting in His  direction (v. 6-8).

Christ makes plain to Nicodemus how one may be saved. Christ would do the work of sacrificing Himself for us on the cross in payment for our sins, so that anyone who put his or her trust in Him would no longer be condemned. Christ says that, “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. Believing does not just mean believing that Christ is who He says He is and believing that God exists and acts. It means believing in such a way that it changes how I act.

As I grow in Christ, more of my actions become ones that I can bring into His Light. As the Amplified Bible says it, “But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are – wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him]” (v. 21). As one born of God’s Spirit, I am acting in accordance with His perfect will. And so, I can “boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:31) about these actions.

On the other hand, if I am unwilling to allow Christ’s light to shine on something I have done or said, then I had better confess my sin and redirect my will to His. If I am not willing to speak to Him about my words or actions, then I must be avoiding His light and hoping that my deeds are not exposed.

Living Out Lent – Be honest with yourself and with God. What are you failing to speak with Him about? Consider whether you are involved in something that you are trying to hide from His Light. If you are involved in ongoing sin; but, you are ready to turn from it, consider confessing to one of our priests, or to a trusted, committed Christian friend who can help you be accountable.

– Kris Bowers

St Peter’s Anglican Daily Lenten Devotionals can be found here.


A Lenten Meditation on the Golden Calf and Our Own Sin

February 20, 2013

Today’s Lectionary Reading includes Deuteronomy 9:13-21 which refers to the Israelites’ sin of worshipping the Golden Calf.  I found the associated devotional from Trinity School for Ministry’s Lenten Devotional Series to be really helpful and relevant.

Here’s an excerpt:

More recently, I’ve realized the the Hebrews did not worship the calf instead of the Lord. Rather, Aaron encouraged the people to honor the tangible golden calf along with yhwh; the revelry around the calf was part of a Hebrew-devised feast to the Lord (Ex 32:5). Their idolatry was not the blatant substitution of the human-made image for the Living God, but an insidious attempt to add their own effort to the gift of God’s grace. I mourn that all too often I do the same, longing to contribute my self-righteousness to the salvation that God gives me through the Lord Jesus Christ. My prayer this Lent is that the Holy Spirit will both convict me anew of my desire to save myself and increase my thankfulness for the salvation He has worked for me.

Gracious Lord, bring us to the deepest depths, mourning like Moses each time You confront us with our sin. And then raise us again to new life in the joy of a reconciled relationship with You, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Rev. Jan Wiley Dantone (MDiv 2006, DMin Student)
Associate Rector, St. John the Divine, Houston, TX

(emphasis added)

The full entry is here.


A Practical Suggestion for Lent – Remembering God’s Goodness and Grace

February 20, 2013

Receive the grace of God today.  It will humble you, and the gift of Lent is there to remind you of God’s grace.  But see how good God is?  In giving you His grace and having you humbly accept it, He gives you an equally valuable gift: the gift of humility before Him.

And by the gifts of humility and thanksgiving, God is able to give grace and glory to the humble, through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Father, I thank You for Your amazing gifts of grace.  Thank You especially for choosing me to be Your child, restored to Your presence forever.  Please humbly receive my thanks as I acknowledge that You, and not I, are the source of the good things in my life. 

Point for Meditation:

Practice using your Lenten discipline (what you have chosen to give up) this year as a means of remembering God’s good gifts to you.  Every time you remember the good gift of God that you have removed from your life for a season, use it as a means of remembering all of God’s other good gifts.  For example, if you’ve given up desserts, every time you crave one, give thanks to God for desserts but also for the sweetness of life with His Son, the fellowship with the saints, the goodness of creation, etc. 

Resolution:  I resolve to remember at least 5 good things God has given me, to remember that they came from God, and to thank God for each one of them. 

from Fr. Charles Erlandson’s Feb 14th Devotional at Give Us This Day, on the passage 1 Cor 1:11-17


Lent Prayers: Forgive what our lips tremble to name

February 19, 2013

Gracious God,
our sins are too heavy to carry,
too real to hide,
and too deep to undo.

Forgive what our lips tremble to name,
what our hearts can no longer bear,
and what has become for us
a consuming fire of judgment.

Set us free from a past that we cannot change;
open to us a future in which we can be changed;
and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image,
through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.

– from the Book of Common Worship

h/t Trevin Wax


Lent Quotes – JC Ryle: The Things Which Murder Souls

February 18, 2013

Remember what I say: if you would cleave to earthly pleasures, these are the things which murder souls. There is no surer way to get a seared conscience and a hard impenitent heart, than to give way to the desires of the flesh and mind. It seems nothing at first, but it tells in the long run.

Consider what Peter says: “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2.11). They destroy the soul’s peace, break down its strength, lead it into hard captivity, make it a slave.

Consider what Paul says: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Colossians 3.5). “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5.24). “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” (1 Corinthians 9.27). Once the body was a perfect mansion of the soul; now it is all corrupt and disordered, and needs constant watching. It is a burden to the soul- not a helpmeet; a hindrance- not an assistance. It may become a useful servant, but it is always a bad master.

Consider, again, the words of Paul: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13.14). “These,” says Leighton, “are the words, the very reading of which so wrought with Augustine, that from a licentious young man he turned a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.”

John Charles Ryle (1816-1900, England)

h/t “The Slave of Christ” blog and Mosaic Lenten Devotional


Lent Quotes: John Owen on daily mortification of the flesh

February 17, 2013

A good reminder during Lent –  morification of the flesh should be our DAILY WORK:

”The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin. So the apostle, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col 3:5). To whom does he speak? Such as were “risen with Christ” (v. 1); such as we’re dead with him (v. 3); such as whose life Christ was and who should “appear with him in glory” (v. 4). Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. Your being dead with Christ virtually, your being quickened with him, will not excuse you from this work.”

John Owen: (Overcoming Sin and Temptation, 50)

thanks to A Glorious Revolution for the quote (Feb 11 2013 entry)


Lent Quotes: Pope Benedict XVI – Returning to the Lord “with all your heart”

February 16, 2013

“Thus says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning” (2.12). Please note the phrase “with all your heart,” which means from the very core of our thoughts and feelings, from the roots of our decisions, choices and actions, with a gesture of total and radical freedom. But is this return to God possible? Yes, because there is a force that does not reside in our hearts, but that emanates from the heart of God and the power of His mercy. The prophet says: “return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment” (v. 13). It is possible to return to the Lord, it is a ‘grace’, because it is the work of God and the fruit of faith that we entrust to His mercy. But this return to God becomes a reality in our lives only when the grace of God penetrates and moves our innermost core, gifting us the power that “rends the heart”.

From Pope Benedict’s 2013 Ash Wednesday Homily

H/T TitusOneNine


Lent Quotes: David Fischler – Lent is really NOT about self-examination

February 15, 2013

Lent, then, is not really about self-examination and agonizing over sin, so much as renewing our vows to live as faithful followers of the Lamb, and in the process to love him with all our heart and soul and strength and mind. Do that, and the problem of sin will take care of itself as the Holy Spirit works within us to bring it about. Lent, far from a time for moping and introspection, is a time for joy.

The Rev. David S. Fischler (DMin Student)
Associate Pastor Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Kingstowne, Virginia

This is excerpted from the Feb. 14th Lenten Devotional published by Trinity School for Ministry. I encourage you to go read the whole entry!

 

Here too is the devotional’s closing prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, I praise and thank You for what You have already done for me in Your incarnate life, Your atoning sacrifice, and Your triumphant resurrection. Take my eyes off myself, and focus them firmly on You, that my whole life might proclaim Your love and grace. Amen.


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