Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

Lenten Devotions: Day One

Welcome to Bread for the World’s 2011 Lenten Devotions. These daily installments are designed to help you put aside a moment each day during Lent to reflect on your faith and how your faith is active in your life. Each week we will follow a regular pattern of days; some days are devoted to walking through the story of Lent, while others are focused on prayer, action, art, or meditation.

As you journey through these 40 days, we encourage you to interact with the content and share your thoughts with others by commenting on the day’s posting.

 Wednesday, March 9. Ash Wednesday Woman with cross

Some years I have big ambitions for the 40 days leading up to Easter. Sometimes I plan to fast from some luxury that has, over time, become a “necessity” in my life. Or I plan, somehow, to take a new step and make this Lent the most significant yet. Other years, I’m lucky if I realize the Lenten season is upon me before it’s over.  

This year, I want something simple yet profound. Something that invites me to be intentional in listening, reflecting, and responding to God. Something that facilitates my engagement with the simple yet profound story of Jesus, when he submitted his will to his Abba Father and laid down his life. 

My life has become cluttered. My days are filled with excessive noise. It’s hard for  me  to hear my own inward voice, much less the voice of God. I want to remember, again, the need to really breathe. To breathe in the Spirit of God and to wait on God’s voice. Jesus, I want to be refreshed in my journey with you.

On this first day of Lent, we invite you to spend some quiet time contemplating the coming days and what you want them to mean for you. Some people may give up a treat (chocolate or  shopping), pledge to live simply, or conduct acts of kindness, charity, or justice. Others may pledge to spend time in prayer or quiet meditation each day. What action makes the most sense for you?

Briefly write down how you choose to participate in Lent. What will you do and why?

Zach Schmidt is the Central Midwest field organizer for Bread for the World.

Photo courtesy of Margie Nea.

 

 

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Comments

Zach, this is a great meditation. I can relate to your concern of life being cluttered. I'm restless, having had achilles surgery this winter and limited in mobility, leaving me often frustrated. My commitment for Lent is to attempt to be content in my situation, using this time for prayer and meditation, using the study guide to go through David's new book, which I devoured last month, and meeting with my legislators on how hunger and poverty issues can be best handled in this frustrating 112th Congress and comparable state legislature. Surely these issues are best handled with a prayerful heart and sound mind. Our local Feeding America/Food Lifeline has invited me to join their regional "A-team," and I hope to be of service there. This is a great time for renewal of heart and mind as well as spirit. Lord bless you all. Thank you for these daily Lent offerings.

Each day, I am writing a devotional for the next day that will be sent to our church family. They will be sent Monday to Frday through the season. I have not done this before and am excited to share in this way.

This is the first year that I challenged my children to give up something. They are 9 (daughter) and 5 (son). Answers varied from "my Nintendo DSi," to "soda," to "sugar" and "TV." It was good to hear them talk of this in a mature way. Although my daughter is giving up soda, my son is still undecided (what I can expect from a 5-year-old?) and my husband has decided to GAIN something rather than lose, by memorizing 40 verses of scripture. Me? I'm giving up sugar and any high-carb food. This is the season that I give God a healthier me!

I have decided to fast from TV and Facebook in order to spend more time in prayer and Bible study. I plan, Lord willing, to take daily prayer walks--and lift up the needs of others, particularly now Japan and the devastating losses they have had. I am praying that the good news of the Gospel will be heard and believed by many during this season leading up to Resurrection Day. I am asking the Lord to help me focus on him and not on my problems so that I can be sensitive to his Spirit's nudging me to help others.

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