Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lenten Devotions

Tuesday, April 5

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! 2 My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. 4 Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.”
--Psalm 84:1-4

The words above describe the assurance and even longing the Psalmist feels when thinking of being in the house of God. The verses are not only a proclamation of joy, but are also a declaration of faith in the promises God has given us. As you listen to the Fourth Movement of Brahms’ Requiem, contemplate with the Psalmist the faith in what is to come that is proclaimed so strongly in these few minutes of music.

Monday, April 4

“The tempter came and said to [Jesus], "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." 4 But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
--Matthew 4:3-6

It is not difficult to remember to feed ourselves actual food. Our stomachs may growl, and we realize we are hungry and need food to survive. However, as Jesus quotes Deuteronomy in these verses, he points out that material food is not enough. As we go through this week, we will be considering salvation, both in the world we live in here and now as well as in the one we hope for but do not yet see. Today, think about how you are nourishing your whole self—body, mind, and spirit. Where are those places you are being fed, and which ones still need sustenance?
Joyce Rupp

Sunday, April 3

“‘And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?’ 10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.”
--1 Kings 3:7-10

When Solomon was faced with a task beyond his comprehension, he asked God to help him learn by giving him the wisdom he needed. We also are often faced with situations we know little or nothing about, yet we know we must face them.

As an activity this week, read a book or article on a topic that is somewhat foreign to you. Visit the library or bookstore and scan the shelves for something unique and intriguing. Seek to gain new understanding and perspective of the world and the people who live in it.

Saturday, April 2

“O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; 4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”
--Psalm 8:1, 3-4

Part of the gift of being human is our ability to imagine, to dream, to wonder at what we see around us. The Psalmist marvels at God’s magnificent creation, wondering how humans could compare to the brilliance of the space in the night sky. This series of images explores that same sense of awe. Allow yourself to wonder with the Psalmist as you consider the vastness of the universe.
NASA Images

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