Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lenten Devotions

Tuesday, April 12
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.”
--Colossians 3:15-16

In this letter, the author calls the people to come together, speaking truth and letting the Word dwell in them. This Word is reinforced in various ways—by teaching, sharing wisdom, being grateful, and singing or experiencing music. As you listen to this piece, allow the music to slow you down and open you to mindfulness of all that surrounds you.
Moonlight Sonata

Monday, April 11
“[God] said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”
--1 Kings 19:11-13

God does not always come to us in loud or flashy moments. While those mountaintop “a-ha!” moments can and do happen, God also reveals Godself in the much quieter times. Sometimes, it can be no more than a whisper in the midst of what seems like an ordinary, everyday experience.

Sunday, April 10
“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
--Ephesians 4:1-3

Unable to call, visit, or facebook in ancient times, those separated by distance had to write letters as conversations with one another. The apostle Paul and his students wrote to various communities to continue encouraging Christians in their faith lives.

As an activity this week, write a letter—yes, a hand-written, snail mail letter—to someone you haven’t seen or chatted with in a while. It can be a friend, relative, old co-worker, etc. Take the time to make it a conversation. Write about your day, the weather, school, work, whatever. Let yourself reach out to those people in your life and strengthen your bond of peace with them.

Saturday, April 9
“Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.”
--Romans 6:4-10

There is a rule in literature that the narrator cannot be dead in the end. This is based in the paradox that if the narrator is dead at the end of the story, there is no way that the story could have been told to the one who recorded it. As you view this painting, take in the magnitude of this new perspective, and realize the leap of faith taken by the artist as you discover who the narrator of this story is.
What Our Lord Saw

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