Lent Week 1 (40 days of preparation time for Easter)
Lord, we long for a deeper
Understanding and knowing of
You and Your life and sacrifice
Please prepare us.
Becoming fully present
Pray the following prayer a few times slowly for a minute.
Lord, I long to know You and be known by You.
Read: Luke 5:27-32
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, Easter weekend. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring”. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation and preparing to begin his ministry. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Lent helps us to prepare our hearts for the fullness of the meaning of Easter.
Which character in the story of Luke can you identify with at the moment? What can you do this Lent to regain a sense of balance in your life? What holds you (or people in general) back from approaching Jesus, the doctor?
Blessing for the Week
May you become aware of God’s constant healing action in your life and may you be filled with the courage to incorporate habits that will help you keep your heart open to God’s presence and love.
LENT WEEK 2
How can we draw near to God?
By God’s grace. I regularly draw near to God and experience friendship and enjoyment and connect with God.
Prayer of Gratitude
Take a few minutes to consider the past week and then do a prayer of thanksgiving for the things that stir in your heart.
Where in the past week did you sense God’s involvement or closeness?
Where in the past week did you sense God’s absence or felt disconnected?
What new insight come to you as you reflected on last week’s thoughts?
Read Psalm 98 (Savor these words)
As you read the Psalm slowly in order to become fully present in God’s presence.
Sing to God a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves, He set things right. God made history with salvation, He showed the world what he could do. He remembered to love us, a bonus. To his dear family, Israel – indefatigable love. The whole earth comes to attention. Look – God’s work of salvation! Shout your praises to God, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band! Round up an orchestra to play for God, add on a hundred-voice choir. Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air with praises to King God. Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, With everything living on earth joining in. Let ocean breakers call out, “Encore!” And mountains harmonize the finale – A tribute to God when he comes. When he comes to set the earth right. He’ll straighten out the whole world, He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.
“Beauty was created by God for a purpose: to give us the experience of wonder. And wonder, in turn, is intended to lead us to the ultimate human expression and privilege: worship. Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the Source of the beauty.” Steve de Wit
“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” Charles Spurgeon
1. In what way do you see Beauty as a gift or map in your life?
2. What would happen if you become really good at savoring moments?
3. The Psalmist seems to worship God with such abandonment, what role does worship play in your relationship with God?
4. What are some of the things that hold you back from fully enjoying beautiful moments in life?
5. What does it mean to you to savor your relationship with God, to enjoy your relationship with God to the full?
6. What do you think God enjoys (savor) about you?
Consider what stirred you regarding this week’s content and decide on your own exercise for the week. Ask a few of your close friends, your spouse, your family, how they are experiencing your presence – are you rushed or not? Ask them what they think you can do to increase savoring (full enjoyment) in your life.
Blessing for the week
May your life be filled with slow savoring moments that restore and bring life. May you grow fit in slowing down and being present for those moments. And may those moments connect you to God who is in the source of life and beauty.