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Lenten Devotions: "Cross Fit"

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.

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

(Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World)

April 18, 2014
Good Friday

"But nobody wants to know him,
They can see that he's just a fool,
And he never gives an answer,
But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down,
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around."
Lyrics from "Fool On the Hill," by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Whenever he sings this song, or "All You Need is Love" (neither one of which is in most
Denominational hymnbooks, although if I had a vote they would be included), I think of Good Friday. For today is about the foolishness of the cross and, of course, the foolishness of love, and thank God for that!
Today's devo contains a couple of helpful resources for you. First of all, take a trip to the National Gallery in London, and see a lovely altarpiece on which you can meditate.
Next, there is a great app from the Church of England that can help you download Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer services which have all sorts of lovely lessons and prayers each day. Check out today's prayer.
Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation, to you be glory and praise for ever. As we behold your Son, enthroned on the cross, stir up in us the fire of your love, that we may be cleansed from all our sins, and walk with you in newness of life singing the praise of him who died for us and our salvation. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Blessed be God for ever. 
A few weeks ago as part of our First Communion seminar for 3rd graders and their parents, I asked the participants to write down a sin on a sticky note. In the event that parents needed more paper, I offered them extra sticky notes. If the children could not spell their sin, I told them to draw it. Then I collected the sins (without looking at them). I put them on a big stake (nail) which we then took into the courtyard and hammered into a large cross. The stack of sins was then lit on fire. As the fire moved through the sins, the paper "morphed" into the shape of a rose, and then it simply disintegrated. You could have heard a pin drop.
Now, in some quarters of the faithful, this activity has become passé. However, I think it provides a graphic example of how God's sin took on to himself what was ours. Through the pain and fire of death on the cross God reduces all the times we've missed the mark and forgives us.
I pray for you today. May you feel forgiven and free.
One more Beatles song: God wants "to hold your hand."


« Discussing Development, World Hunger, and Advocacy at the University of Kentucky Lenten Devotions: Hot Cross Buns »


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