Lament and Resist, Part 4
Jane Gardner, presiding evangelist
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? -Psalm 13:1-2
An authentic Lenten journey opens us up to discovery and transformation. If you are like me, you may find yourself resisting challenges and experiences that are outside of a well-constructed security cocoon. Vulnerability is counter-cultural, maybe even counter to the 21st-century human experience. It is especially tempting to stay with what we know.
Unfortunately, when we choose this path, we can miss the new thing that God is doing-both inside of us as well as in all of creation. Fortunately, our God has proven to be patient, compassionate, and faithful. God is listening even when all we can offer is our unknowing and resistance.
Lenten Reflection Questions:
- When do you feel tempted to stay with what you already know?
- What new thing in God doing in you, in us?
- What might it be like to offer your unknowing to God in prayer?
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Lenten Spiritual Practices
Moving Toward the Peaceful One
As Jesus was nearing the final days of his life, he wept over the city and proclaimed, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).What are the things that make for peace in our lives, communities, and around the world? During the Lenten season, spend time in silent refection or journaling each day to notice: Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Pay attention to your attitudes, actions, and relationships this day. When did you most embody the peaceful One in your daily living? When were your thoughts or actions contrary to the peace of Jesus Christ? How might Jesus, the peaceful One, who is always near to you, be inviting you to draw nearer to him through your daily living?
Fasting and Giving-$40 in 40 Days
A Lenten fast gives us an opportunity to make space in our lives so that God can live in and through us. It’s a time to evaluate what we hunger for most and what we consume. This year, we’ve been invited to tithe as a spiritual practice by setting aside $40 during the 40 days of Lent. If you are participating, pay attention today to the dollar you have given. What might you have done with that dollar otherwise? How does Lenten generosity invite you to reflect on what is “enough” in your life? Who might you invite to join you in this practice? How might your gift be magnified by the many others responding to the same call?
You can make your $40 offering anytime during the Lenten season online or through your offering envelope for Worldwide Mission Tithes.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.