Holy Tuesday: John 12:20-36 • Isaiah 49:1-7 Christ describes himself as a seed planted in the ground. The seed breaks apart and new life comes from the seed’s death. What Christ does is intimately tied into how he does it. How Christ does what he does is important. What he does is bring new and everlasting life into the world. How he…Details
Lazarus Monday: John 12:1-11 • Isaiah 42:1-9 The Book of Common Prayer provides readings and collects (short, single purpose prayers) for every day during Holy Week. Monday’s readings include a prophetic reference to Jesus’ ministry and an example of Jesus bringing his friend, Lazarus, back to life. I encourage you to walk through this week with these…Details
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 • Psalm 45 • Mark 11:1-11 • John 12:12-16 Our Christian faith is ironic. Thing about the upside down narratives that run throughout our story: God, almighty and all powerful, calls Israel, a lowly, weak and vulnerable group of ex-slaves, who are as unfaithful as they are chosen. The Creator enters into his creation as an infant completely…Details
Ps 119:9-16 • Jeremiah 31:31-34 • Heb 10:4-10 • John 12:20-33 “… unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24 The metaphor of death fits well in the Lenten Season. Repentance is a kind of death…Details
“the health of self-forgetfulness”
Do you remember the poem by Wendell Berry that speaks of the “health of self-forgetfulness?”* It is hard to even consider the concept isn’t it? Self forgetfulness seems impossible. We live in bodies that cry out for food and drink along with all kinds of desire. We grow tired by days end and our bodies and minds cry for rest. How on earth can we forget about ourselves when our very bodies are crying, worn out, hungry and lonely?
Self-forgetfulness is made more difficult through the world of advertising. We are barraged when we turn on the TV or radio, when we look at our laptops or smartphones, and when we drive down the road. Advertisements remind us of what we want more than what we need. They cause us to desire for things we didn’t know we wanted.
So how can we experience the “health of self-forgetfulness” in a world that encourages such self-consciousness and selfishness?
When I answer that question with the word prayer I can’t help but feel trite. But I still think that prayer is the answer.
In Mark 2 we see Jesus getting away to a solitary place in order to pray. Inspired both by this verse and by necessity Christians have learned the practice of getting away in order to pray un-self-consciously. But retreat is not always available in our workaday world.
Fasting is another discipline that assists us in our journey toward self-forgetfulness. Fasting from food or other good things can serve to draw us toward a less self-oriented faith and more mature prayer.
Praying the Daily Office from the Book of Common PrayerDetails
Lent is not only a time of fasting but it also, and most importantly, a time for prayer. The hunger pangs of lent are there to inspire us toward prayer and repentance. Let me encourage you to think deeply about your prayer life this Lent. How might you invigorate it? Let me suggest two things that…Details
Ps 107:1-22 • Numbers 21:4-9 • Ephesians 2:1-10 • John 3:14-21 What is perhaps the most quoted passage of Scripture from the modern age is part of this week’s Gospel reading. We are all familiar with John 3:16 but are we equally familiar with the verse that follows: “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn…Details
Ps 19 • Exodus 20:1-17 • I Corinthians 1:18-25 • John 2:13-22 O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant. Yes, O Lord and King! Grant me to…Details
Psalm 22:23-31 • Genesis 17:1-16 • Romans 4:13-25 • Mark 8:31-38 As we move into the second week of Lent let me encourage you to reflect upon the graciousness of Jesus Christ that is rooted in his self-sacrificial life. Peter wanted Jesus to be a conqueror (Mark 8:31-38) but Jesus sternly reminded Peter of the…Details
Psalm 25:1-10 • Genesis 9:8-17 • I Peter 3:18-22 • Mark 1:9-15 The Lenten season is upon us. As we engage this important time of year let us remember that Lent is not about our accomplishment (such as keeping a severe fast) but God’s provision (how do you experience God’s care while you fast?). It is…Details