Lenten Devotional

Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

In today’s section, Jesus explains that he is the Son of God. This relationship is very interesting, and confusing: Jesus can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees his Father doing. He is distinct from the Father, as he is the Son, but he is not autonomous. While Jesus can’t do anything by himself, he does have a will of his own. [ More → ]

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Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

My third great grandmother, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ellerman left Germany with her four children after the death of her husband in 1855. Her family sailed for New Orleans to find a new way of life. The eleven week voyage was tedious and tragic, with Lizzie losing her daughter, Anna, along the way. [ More → ]

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Monday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Find the center in quiet and stillness where you are not experiencing the world as good and evil. Where you do not judge, where you are not dominated by fear of or fear for. In this stillness let go of good and evil, judgment and fear. Find God in yourself and have compassion for the snake when it appears. [ More → ]

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Saturday in the Third Week of Lent

Lent can get a little heavy. But there’s a secret that can lighten it up. Just like the one Gabriel announces to Mary. Out of the dreary Nazareth sky comes an angel, no less, fancy-talking about how she, little Miss Nobody, is going to be the mother of God. [ More → ]

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Friday in the Third Week of Lent

Many years ago, I worked on a therapeutic team on a psychiatric unit in a small hospital in Massachusetts. The head psychiatrist would reply, when we reported on what the patients were telling us, “It’s not what they say, it’s what they do.” I have relied on that wisdom to name my own resistances and to understand others’. [ More → ]

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Thursday in the Third Week of Lent

Just reading the morning paper, my muscles tighten and my stomach clenches. Like the “strong man, fully armed,” my guard is up before I’ve even left the house. I recognize this state of righteous indignation, of being tense, resentful, willful, intransigent, described in very simple terms in the readings for today. [ More → ]

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Wednesday in the Third Week of Lent

Jesus quoted Deuteronomy more frequently than any book of scripture. And here we are 2,000 years later being brought up short by the Deuteronomist’s message: “I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land you are about to enter. You must observe them diligently for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the people.” The land does not come first. [ More → ]

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Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent

And Jesus spoke: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to an iconic black church that held an emotionally charged service Sunday as its members, the city and the nation continued a painful healing process. Church bells tolled across the city at 10 a.m. in memory of the victims of Dylann Roof, who opened fire Wednesday night on a Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.” [ More → ]

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Monday in the Third Week of Lent

Belonging to two realms is what the crucifix symbolizes, the tangible earthly economy of exchange and services, and the vertical realm, of the Holy Spirit, and how the two are inextricably tied.

I am taken by the young Jesus’ ability to belong easefully within both realms, with obedience and grace — and win the favor of both earthly and immortal realms. [ More → ]

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Saturday in the Second Week of Lent

Forgiving those that trespass against us is hard work.
 
Forgiveness is an action that requires setting aside ego. To forgive is not an acceptance of wrongdoing, it’s a path to discovering the common truth. In compassion we find mercy and healing.
 
These lessons are difficult under any circumstances.
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