Lenten Devotional

Friday in the Second Week of Lent

What would it look like for the earth to be handed over to someone other than us — the whales, perhaps, or the bees with their communal sense of well-being? At a certain point it seems that nature itself may simply rise up to be rid of us. And yet, Jesus invites us to change. To wake up. To go a different way. What, I wonder, have we rejected that is foundational to God’s new creation? Mercy, simplicity, interdependence, some of our kin? [ More → ]

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Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

One Tuesday, a family came in, visiting from Italy. The dad looked around and asked, “Where is the host?” Though at first confused, I then had an epiphany: Oh, that Host! More important, this visitor and I had an opportunity for a friendly discussion of Christians’ varying views on Holy Communion. [ More → ]

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Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent

At the end of the Gospel, Jesus says, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve…” I think the service Jesus is talking about is not so much a task as a way of being in the world, of living into the generosity and humility that defies our daily risk and reward calculations. [ More → ]

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Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent

When I was in college I told people I was a vegetarian but in fact continued to eat meat. I was not willfully deceptive. I actually believed I was vegetarian but this was 100% imaginary; a fantasy about what kind of person I wanted to be, in those days. The next step — putting an aspiration and belief into action — never quite happened. I cheerfully continued to eat hamburgers. [ More → ]

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Monday in the Second Week of Lent

How are we working to define ourselves during this year’s Lenten journey? Maybe we’ve given something up. Maybe we’ve committed to do something outside of our normal daily life. All of these are very lonely ways for us to be who we are. Why not see what it would be like to have others define us for a little while? [ More → ]

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Saturday in the First Week of Lent

In Matthew, Jesus transposes the terms of devotion. It is we who are loved without judgment or limit, regardless of our righteousness or lack thereof. To be perfect as God is perfect is to turn the Psalmist’s unwavering love towards each other; to love everyone without limit or inhibition or judgment, to love all with unstinting forgiveness. The best commentary on this passage that I’ve found is from The Merchant of Venice[ More → ]

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Friday in the First Week of Lent

The Psalms are refreshingly honest about the human condition; the psalmist directly addresses God. In my own struggles through life, it’s great to know that I too can be honest and direct with God! Today’s Psalm 130 offers hope for redemption and an invitation to lift our voice to God. [ More → ]

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Thursday in the First Week of Lent

On Saturday evening, I refused entry to a man who appeared to be lost to my apartment building. He was buzzed in by someone else, and we ended up sharing an elevator. In anger he called me a racist but also showed me the hurt that my action had caused him. [ More → ]

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Wednesday in the First Week of Lent

It is so easy — too easy! — to step away from God. Without being even aware of it, I was lost. Thank God that the wonderful people in my life saved me! I cannot give any logical reason for my belief in God — I can only affirm that my life is better because of that belief. [ More → ]

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Tuesday in the First Week of Lent

It can be tough to pray when you feel like your life is careening off the tracks into a chasm. How does one climb back onto a normal path? Sometimes we doubt that God hears us. Or as I sometimes am wont to rant, “God, do I have to buy you a battery for your hearing aid?” [ More → ]

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