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Lenten Devotions: "Longer Than Shadows"

 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.

Palm shadows
(Brenda Greenwald)

April 14, 2014

Holy Monday

"Longer than shadows
Closer than emptiness
Oh.... Mighty this love
Oh.... Mighty this love
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."

"Mighty This Love," by Peter Mayer

On Sunday we had a donkey, a rapper, and lots of Hosannas at church. Our donkey was named Tinkerbell. 

Donkey palms

The rapper was Agape.

Agape and kids

Our "hosannas" came from our hearts, our souls, and our minds.

The picture at the top of the page captures the shadows. We walk this walk in the valley of the shadow of death. We have shadows from our pasts that compel us to worry and fret. Like Peter, we hide in the shadows of the present, so as not to be identified as a follower of Jesus. We will gather beneath the shadow of Jesus' cross.

Peter sings, "Longer than shadows"-- He's referring, of course, to this mighty love that takes us on this roller coaster of a ride this week. Up and down, around and around, screaming, hanging on for dear life, turning our bodies and stomachs upside down!

This mighty love is also "closer than emptiness." This love fills whatever we are looking for--more so than food, sex, alcohol, possessions, religion and status.

We will have ultimate "peace at the river," but until then we will experience:

"It woke me in the rage of the wind
 Called me up to the mountain
 back through the valley again."

(Photos of Bethany Lutheran Church service courtesy of Pastor Ron Glusenkamp.)


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