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Lenten Devotions: "Location, Location, Location"

This Lenten season, Bread Blog will be running a series of devotions written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. The reflections are based, in part, on the music of Peter Mayer, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. The theme for this year's series is "Mighty This Love," named for one of Mayer's compositions (Listen to a special welcome message from Mayer).

This post is reprinted, with permission, from Glusenkamp's site, h20 devos. Audio podcast versions of the daily devotionals are also available.

'River, Seydisfjordur' photo (c) 2010, David Stanley - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
March 14, 2014
"It led me to peace at the river/It woke me in the rage of the wind/Called me up to the mountain/
Back through the valley again." --Lyrics from "Mighty This Love," by Peter Mayer
I often tell people that Bible atudy is quite similar to real estate in that what is important often comes down to just three words: "Location, location, location."
Peter sings about three specific locations in this wonderful song: river, mountain, and valley. If you just stop for a moment to think about rivers you know of from the Bible, what comes to your mind? How many names of mountains can you recall? Last but not least, what about valleys?
My quick list reveals the following rivers, Jordan, Jabbok, Tigris, Euphrates, and Nile. The mountain list consists of Sinai, Ararat, and Calvary. In terms of valleys, I think of Kidron and, of course, the "valley of the shadow of death."
I think of Jacob wrestling with God all night at the banks of the Jabbok River (Gen. 32).
This is one of my favorite stories because it is so consistent with other "crossing over" or "passage" accounts. In order to move forward, one often has to deal with the sprites that exist in the forest. There are trolls beneath the bridge. No matter where you go in order to go into the future, one must wrestle with the past or the present. Once that has been done, there can be a sense of peace.
Marshall Maclean's book A River Runs Through It has this lovely line in it:
"Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."
God created the heavens and the earth. Rejoice and be glad in this wonderful world.
I pray you can stand by a river today and find some peace. If you can't physically go to a river, perhaps you have picture of one that has given you pleasure.


« In the Beginning: Art Simon on the Origins of Bread for the World Lenten Devotions: "Peace" »


Interesting comparison. Thanks for sharing that perspective

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