Can you think of a stranger ritual than the one that has been shared by Christians for more than 2000 years, during which we talk about eating the body and blood of our Lord and Savior? I’m not sure I can. The Lord’s Supper is a mystery. Last year, my church received a year-long Vital Worship Grant1 starting in June …
What does it mean to “practice resurrection” in a world that is filled with death and brokenness?
In their book, authors/editors Greg Goebel and Joshua Steele, provide a deeper and more vivid picture of what the season of Lent could be, and why observing it provides rich opportunities for spiritual growth in believers of all stages.
As we come to Good Friday, the end of Lent and a recounting of Jesus’ sufferings, I have to ask the question of “What is Good?”
Though these books are a great way to invite children into the discipline of Lent, they do not need to be limited to kids. These books have awakened in me a sense of wonder and anticipation for the Lenten journey ahead.
The thought going with me through Lent this year is this: we should retire the phrase, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”
The journey of Lent shaped my faith formation in childhood, and it gave me the space in adulthood to consider where God might be calling me to change my life.
Perhaps Lent is not so much for “giving up” as it is an invitation to “go deep,” to make space and time to feel the weight of our need.
Lent has a way of interrupting my life. I would even go so far as to say that most years lead up to Lent for me. I suppose that’s the point.
We watch, sinners all, with bittersweet love for God and with that mixture of profound gratitude, shocking embarrassment, and deep sadness. We see the determination in both faces, and they are the faces that make us whole.
I approach texts like Psalm 31 with great fear and trepidation. I am drawn to them like a moth to flame, which is to say, warily, for I know these Psalms of lament can be devastating if you take them seriously.
In our hurry to get through the forty days of Lent and to the celebration of Easter, this psalm slows us down. Yes, Resurrection Day will come but lest we forget to remember our need for resurrecting in the first place.
A good shepherd in dangerous times.
Like spring cleaning, the season of Lent helps us pause and take an honest look at our own lives. What needs to be cleaned out within us? What is distracting us from God? What is cluttering our lives?
This rebirth, then, is wholly a work of grace. Of God’s action. We are sinners, but now the work and righteousness of Christ has been given to us, and our lives have been changed.
This psalm is about how God protects us on earth. There is nowhere outside of God’s domain, which is a comfort when you find yourself in the desert. Even when we sleep, God keeps watch.
Ash Wednesday offers to us a lifetime of days and to receive this gift, we only need to look at the birds, to be like them in their nesting and in their singing.
In Jesus’ time, the palm branch held a similar role to the homer hanky. Palm branches were a symbol of victory and triumph.
Jesus—God in human flesh—knows our hungering, both physical, and spiritual. Jesus knows that we need bread to provide us sustenance: the Bread of the Presence, Our Daily Bread, the Bread from Heaven.
If we see any light, which is almost every moment of our lives, we are seeing a representation of Jesus Christ as creator, healer, and redeemer. The truth that Jesus is the light of the world is there all the time for us to see.
I knocked on this “door” when I was 7 years old and the door to life has begun a dance ever since with lots of twists and turns, bumps and bruises.
Jesus, the good shepherd provides and protects his sheep to the point of laying down his life for all of us and then, because he can, he takes his life up again and continues living.
What assurance could this new servant of God give to the people who had been stuck in slavery and who had lost their own identity as God’s chosen people?
The centurion carrying out the execution stands face to face with Jesus and when he looks suffering in the face, he sees divinity. He was with Jesus as he suffered. I imagine that at some point following this “day at the office”, the centurion, too, found himself suffering.
Perhaps we’ve lost something with the disappearance of the word behold from our Scripture translations and its corresponding erasure from our culture. Do we really know how to behold? How to stop still, to cease all else, to give our full attention and searching gaze to what is before us?
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