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120 posts categorized "Lent Series"

Lenten Devotions: "From Death to Life"

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.

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The sacrifice of Isaac - Marc Chagall
Le sacrifice d'Isaac, by Marc Chagall, 1966. Photo: Wikipaintings. 

March 13, 2014

Pastor Ron's congregation is watching the mini-series The Bible this year for Lent.

Yesterday's clip was the "Binding of Isaac." Following is his sermon on that story from Genesis 22. It connects to Peter Mayer's song, "Still in One Peace."

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"Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life" (John 5:24)

 

"After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you." So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you." Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together (Genesis 22:1-8).

 

There is probably no other story in the Bible that is so gut-wrenching, angst-producing, faith-confusing, and troublesome than this one from Genesis 22, often called "the Sacrifice of Isaac," but probably more appropriately referred to as "the Binding of Isaac."

 

We are all the son and daughter of someone. It is quite hard to imagine a parent, your parent, being tested in such a manner. And if you are a parent or have a parent-child relationship with someone, can you imagine being summoned by God to basically sacrifice the future, to "kill the dream," to draw down the curtain on one's present and hopes to come? But that is exactly how this story begins. Remember now, Isaac means "laughter," but this episode is going to bring about tears.

 

"After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you."

 

I don't know if the "modern" mind, heart, or soul can totally comprehend this test.

It seems that at least once a week or so, we read about some parent, usually involved in a custody suit or experiencing some kind of deep emotional and spiritual trauma, who attempts or actually does take the life of their child or children before taking their own life.

 

I want to like Abraham. I want to hold him up as a hero of the faith (which I think he was). But, as many commentators have suggested, the man who was willing to bargain and argue with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah doesn't seem to blink an eye when given this command. Nor does he consult with Sarah, his long-suffering and forgiving wife. Neither does he let the intended sacrifice, Isaac, in on the plan which God has commanded. And let's not just stop with Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac here. What about God, who decides to "test" Abraham in this manner? Surely Abraham has already done what he was supposed to do by leaving his home country and heading out for paths unknown.

 

To me the most heart rendering part of the story is when Isaac states,"The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"

 

Indeed, "where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"

 

Continue reading "Lenten Devotions: "From Death to Life"" »

Lenten Devotions: "One Peace"

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.

* 'Peace' photo (c) 2011, Kelly Hunter - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Wednesday, March 12

"And I'm Still in One Peace/Still in One Peace/We are blessed, we are broken/Every day a chance/To be/One together again." —"Still in One Peace," by Peter Mayer

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7).

I just love Peter's line, "we are blessed, we are broken." Those six words accurately describe what Martin Luther and the Reformers (sounds like the name of a group, doesn't it?) described as "simul justus et peccato," which means, at the same time justified and a sinner. We have then shortened that translation to "saint and sinner."

So, in one piece we are sinner and saint. And because of that designation we have "one peace" in Jesus Christ.

The members of our Faith Formation team at church have t-shirts that read "Saint" and "Sinner," depending on how one sees it.

It isn't one or the other, it is "both," it is "and."

Today is a good day to acknowledge your saint/sinner identity. May it hold you in one peace.

Lenten Devotions: "Chain of Love"

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.

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March 11, 2014

“Chain of Love
/I can’t break this chain of…
/Chain of love…
/Set me free/But don’t let me go”

—"Chain of Love," by Peter Mayer

 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12).

I like to quote legendary baseball player Yogi Berra. One saying attributed to him is, “You can observe a lot, just by watching.” On Sunday, I observed the people in our faith community. Daylight Savings Sunday always comes as a shocker to some folks. Our gathering song had just a tinge of humor in it: “Awake, O Sleeper, Rise from Death.” We initially selected it because it went with our theme for the week, “From Death to Life,” but the point was not missed by some. I saw their smiles and heard their subtle laughter. I also saw folks struggling with their own sense of guilt and shame. I recognized others who are feeling hurt and alone. Two families were rejoicing in baptisms. For some families, spring break is just around the corner. I am aware of some who are rejoicing in positive results from the doctor’s office. All in all, I observed children of God who gather to hear the Word, share in a meal, and to be sent to serve in the world.

This Lent, our congregation is watching the epic miniseries The Bible, which aired last year on the History Channel. The goal of the producers of the series is that folks might “see the Bible in a new way.” It is also their intention that viewers:

  • Experience the depth of God’s great love for you
  • Understand how your unique story fits into God’s story for all of us
  • See the scarlet thread of redemption through Jesus Christ
  • Go deeper and gain a great knowledge of God’s Word

There are five episodes, which account for 7.5 hours of viewing. We plan to show each episode four different times each week. We’ve also set up discussion groups so people can talk and listen to one another’s observations. On Sunday, a group of hardy individuals gathered together for a “Bible Binge”—they watched all five episodes. My sense is that I might not see them again until Holy Week.

Peter sings about a “Chain of Love.” That’s really what our story and connection is all about. We don’t always realize it or notice it, but we are connected to each other through Jesus’ death and resurrection. I think that is the biggest thing I “observe” when I watch people. There is a connection that comes from community in Christ.

Spend some time just “watching” today.

Photo: Girls singing in the choir at Our Lady of Assumption Church, Petit Goave, Haiti. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World).

Lenten Devotions: "With Love"

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.

Isaac_Fb_sizeMonday, March 10

"We come as a child to walk this hard road/But put on this Love, and watch how we grow/From dim reflection where we cannot see/To come face to face with the greatest of these/...Or I have nothing/Love to hold and to give/Now that’s something for which I can live." —"Without Love," 1 Corinthians paraphrase by Peter Mayer, sung by India Mayer

I heard the account of Jesus’ temptation in Matthew’s Gospel three times yesterday.

Additionally, I read it a bunch of times this past week in getting ready to preach on it over the weekend.

I am not sure I want to go on record as being a “devil’s advocate,” but when I think about hunger in the world today, I wonder what would be so wrong with turning stones into bread? I mean, I understand that Jesus shouldn’t have fallen for the tricky words of the tempter. I’m glad Jesus countered those words with a word from Deuteronomy. But, let’s fast forward to today. What would be so wrong with Jesus doing a grand miracle feeding like he has done in the past?

And just as I write those words I wonder if you think that I’m being blasphemous in some way. I wonder what God must think as my comments are heard, while, at the same time, the all-seeing eye of God observes all the food I have in my pantry. So, then I am confronted with a variation of the  question directed at me. Specifically, why don’t I take some more of my “bread,” i.e., cold, hard cash, and turn it into food? Is it because I think I’ve done my bit and that I think someone else should be doing more? Is it because I am not aware? It is because I too ask and wonder, “what are these five loaves and two fish among so many” (John 6)? Is it because I am waiting for God to do something first?

I know many of you care deeply about the hunger in our world today. I thank God for Bread for the World and its many supporters who, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, take seriously the gospel imperative to make “room at the table.”

Today I pray to act with love.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ''If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written,'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4).

Photo: A child enjoying fresh fruit. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl)

Lenten Devotions: "Be"

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.

'Clock Tower' photo (c) 2007, midiman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

March 8, 2014

“Believe, be Light, be Love just because
/All along you’ve belonged
In this love song
/This now, befriend/Come what may, with your heart begin/
Believe Be Light Be Love.” Lyrics from Be Etc.,  by Peter Mayer

Tonight we are supposed to “spring forward” our clocks by one hour. I much prefer the “fall back” portion of this equation, because it seems that it takes much longer to adjust to the “loss” of 60 minutes than it does to deal with the “gain” of an hour in the fall.

Being cognizant of “losing” an hour tonight makes me feel somewhat unsettled and hurried. So, I start making my to-do list. But, then Peter’s words come to my mind and remind me to just “be.” Of course, some of you Type A people might suggest that it takes some doing just for you “to be.” Perhaps that is right because we are rather programmed to “do.”  Especially if you are a professional church worker or highly involved in volunteer activities at church or other non-profits. Peter’s song is inspired by St. Paul’s lovely little text message to the Ephesians: “
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

I believe that I’ve heard the following question several times leading up to Lent and then for the past few days: “What are you doing for Lent?” It is usually attached to another question, “What are you giving up for Lent.” While voluntarily giving up something for Lent is a wonderful tradition, lately it seems that we often want to give up something that we should have given up anyway (whether it is Lent or not). I’d like for us to think about this questionwhat is it that you will be for Lent?

I’d like to try this Lent to follow Peter’s invitation: 
Believe Be Light Be Love.”

So that when doubt and cynicism creeps in, that I would believe.

So that when there is darkness and the absence of hospitality and warmth that I would be light

And when there is hatred and fear, that I would have the courage to be love.

“Believe, be Light, be Love just because.”

Lenten Devotions: Pass It On

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.

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Sourdough starterMarch 7, 2014

“In the Word the walls will crumble down/
And all are welcome to enter in/
In the blood of Christ the great sacrifice
/The withered branches bloom again
/The withered branches bloom again/Pass it on/
Break the bread/Lift the cup/
Pass it on
/The broken will be lifted up” —Lyrics from the song "Pass it On" by Peter Mayer and Patricia O’Reilly

Thursday is my day off, and so it is the day that I like to bake bread. For the past year or so, I’ve been working with sourdough. Many people recall their mother or grandmother having some “friendship bread” or “starter” or “mother” inhabiting the kitchen counter or taking over the refrigerator. Whereas Garrison Keillor says, “guilt is the gift that keeps on giving,” it might actually be sourdough starter that gives and gives and gives. When people start running from you when they see you approaching them with a closed Tupperware container of this mysterious liquid,  which resembles some kind of primordial ooze, you know your friends have had enough of starter.

Father Dominic Garramone, in his great little book Bake and Be Blessed: Bread Baking as a Metaphor for Spiritual Growth writes, “Yeast symbolizes the enlivening principle in our lives, the core values and passions that make our lives worth living. For some people, work is at the center of their identity, so much so that when they retire or are no longer able to work, they lose their sense of self-worth. For others, life is centered on sports or entertainment, or on the acquisition of wealth. Other more positive values, like family, creativity, and service, can be the passions that give our lives meaning. For Christians, however, the yeast in our lives should be the good news of the kingdom.”

Today, the church commemorates Perpetua and Felicity, who were martyred on this day in 203AD. Obviously these two women (along with many other saints throughout the years) had some enlivening principle in their lives that gave them courage, hope, and stamina. Peter sings about this “something” as he invites and encourages us to “Pass it on/
Break the bread/Lift the cup/
Pass it on/The broken will be lifted up.”

In my humble opinion, there is nothing more elegant and grand than sharing good, warm, fresh baked bread with others. The aroma that fills the house is welcoming and pleasant to behold. The simple, basic ingredients of wheat, water, yeast, salt, and sugar—when mixed together, kneaded, and then baked in the heat of the oven—produce a product that is pleasing to the eye and delights the mouth and stomach.

I think of how Jesus, the Bread of Life, utilized the disciples as a pre-ferment, as a starter, as mother dough for the rest of us. Those of you who bake and work with sourdough know the ingredients are simple: flour and water. Flour and water combined with wild yeast spores, and all of the sudden there is something happening. And yes, even if you can’t see it, you can smell it. Jesus took these 12 average, regular people and worked with them for three years. He set them aside. One day in Bible class, someone said that he must have seen something in them that they didn’t even know they themselves had. I think that’s true. And just like sourdough starter, to be kept together in a jar doesn’t do any good. What needs to happen is to get mixed up with the rest of the recipe. This flavor, this energy of the sourdough is just like that of the disciples, of you and me. We are called to get mixed up in God’s loving recipe for the world. And when that happens we, along with the others, get transformed and made new.

Photo: Pastor Glusenkamp's sourdough starter. (Ron Glusenkamp)

Lenten Devotions: "You Are There"

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

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St-martin-in-the-fieldsMarch 6, 2014

"It's been a long, long road but I'm coming back to find you/Took hold of my heart long ago wanna be back beside you/It's been a long, long road but I'm coming back to find you/One sound came a-tumblin' down Jericho/Breaking the walls that bind you." —Lyrics from the song "Musicbox," by Peter Mayer, Jay Oliver, and Chris Walters

The picture accompanying today's devotion is of the window at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. 

I like the window a great deal. As I sit in morning prayer, I look up at it—is it an egg, a seed, or flying saucer? Some days I can see a cross. Maybe it's a womb, or a tomb. I guess it depends on one's mood and perspective.

In the introduction to his song "Musicbox," Peter Mayer says, "This is a looking-back song." Peter sings about the journey—so often you have to look back to go forward. Like the lovely window at St. Martin's, how one "sees" this song or hears it depends on one's perspective.

It could be a song about the distance between lovers. It could be about a believer's quest for God. Perhaps it is a love song sung by God indicating God's intentionality to find us no matter where we have gone.

"Wanna be back beside you/It's been a long, long road/But I'm coming back to find you."

If you are feeling lost, then this is good news for you. 

Psalm 139 reveals this truth: "Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast." 

Today, be on the lookout for a God who "breaks down the walls that bind you."

Lenten Devotions: "Mighty This Love"

'mud' photo (c) 2007, Nick Saltmarsh - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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.  

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March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

"Dirty hands, dirty feet/I'm over my head it's made a mess of me/But it keeps you coming back to the/Way of love never stops on easy street/You've gotta walk through the muddy water to come clean." —Lyrics from the song "Dirty Hands, Dirty Feet," by Peter Mayer, R. Scott Bryan, Marc Torlina, and Mac McAnally

It sounds counterintuitive, doesn't it?  "You've gotta walk through the muddy water to come clean." We hear the words spoken to Adam and Eve, "you are dust and to dust you shall return," (Gen. 3:19).  Ashes are smeared on our forehead. This liturgical action is called "the imposition of ashes." It truly is an imposition because we would rather be thinking about spring training, spring break, or even "the Journey to the Tourney" than receiving the terminal diagnosis that we are "dust and to dust we shall return."

Whenever I hear Peter sing those words—"You've gotta walk through the muddy water to come clean"—I think of Naaman and Elisha (2 Kings 5:1-19). Naaman was a general in the King's army. He was used to giving orders and having those orders obeyed. But, he had a disfiguring disease called leprosy. The prophet Elisha instructs him to bathe seven times  in the Jordan River. Naaman is deeply offended by this ridiculous prescription. However, his staff reminds him that if the prophet had instructed him to do something quite difficult, he would have been open to do it. Naaman does as he is instructed and is healed by the God of Israel.  "You've gotta walk through muddy water to come clean."

King David was caught up in the scandal of his day—"Bathsheba-gate." He had stolen another man's wife (2 Samuel 12). The secrets, intrigue, and politics of his time seem like a precursor to the show House of Cards. Tradition has it that after King David was confronted by the prophet Nathan regarding his sinfulness, he wrote Psalm 51 as his prayer of forgiveness: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit."

"You've gotta walk through muddy water to come clean."

So, what part of you needs to go through the muddy water to come clean? What's going on in your life that needs to die so that new life might blossom and grow? This season we will be praying for one another as we make our way from ashes to alleluias.

Blessings on your steps today to come clean. Be confident that there is a mighty love for you.

Lenten Reflections: The Missing Station

120404-church3

Bread for the World activists begin their Lobby Day at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

Friday, March 29, 2013
Good Friday

Lectionary readings:
John 18:1-19:42
Hebrews 4:14-16

By Adlai J. Amor

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrew 4:14-16)

Growing up in the Philippines, Good Friday always meant Via Dolorosa or Via Crucis – the Stations of the Cross. My strict Anglo-Catholic aunts always made sure that we did not forget that. To avoid being called irihis (heretics), my siblings and I would piously accompany them to church. There they would join other women fervently praying while kneeling on the bare floor before each of the 14 stations.

I never fully understood the value of their ritual or what those images meant. All I knew was that they prayed the Lord’s Prayer, the full rosary, and the Hail Mary in each of the 14 stations. I have flashes of those images: Jesus bearing a cross; Jesus with his mother, Mary; Jesus crucified; and Jesus taken down from the cross.  After the first station, we would be fidgeting on our sore knees— and grumbling that it was cutting into time that we could have spent playing.

It was only when I matured as a Christian that I understood the meaning of Via Dolorosa. It is simply a recreation of Christ’s passion. It is Jesus' ancient journey walked today. The practice of Via Crucis originated in early pilgrimages to Jerusalem.

Franciscan monks were said to have first started erecting chapels depicting scenes from Jesus’ last days. For a long time, only Franciscans—who were given control over the holy sites in Jerusalem —were allowed to build such stations. The chapels eventually evolved into sculptures, plaques, or paintings housed inside the sanctuary—as it was in my aunts’ church. 

Originally, there was no set number of stations but by 1731 the norm was set at 14 stations.  Of this, only 8 have direct biblical references. The others are considered embellishments—Jesus falling three times; Jesus taken down from the cross and laid on his mother’s arms.

But whether based entirely on scripture or not, Via Dolorosa has become one the most popular  devotions for Catholics. Prayed in the spirit of atonement, it helps devotees go through their own Lenten pilgrimage by meditating on the scenes of Christ’s suffering and death.

To this day, I still have to find a good explanation of why the Roman Catholic Church settled on 14 stations in the early 1700s. But in the end, mathematical exactitude does not really matter. It is our faith that matters. Whether we experience this ancient devotion today or read Jesus’ passion in the Bible, it is worth remembering that without Jesus suffering and dying on the cross, we would never have been saved.

Three days later, Jesus’ journey will end. Then we can celebrate the 15th—and missing—station: Easter and His resurrection.

“God as we walk through this day may we remember: Beyond sin there is love inexhaustible;beyond death there is life unimaginable; beyond brokenness there is forgiveness incomprehensible; beyond betrayal there is grace poured out eternally. May we remember and give thanks for the wonder of your love. Amen.”  (Christine Sine, Mustard Seed Associates)

Adlai J. Amor is Bread for the World's director of communications and a member of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Washington, D.C.

Lenten Reflections: Write It on Their Hearts

Photo by flickr user Mumu X

March 28, 2013
Maundy Thursday

Lectionary readings:

Jeremiah 31:31-34                
Psalm 89             
Luke 22:7-20                 
Hebrews 10:16-25

 By Kathryn Sparks

Littered landscape
Tent home
Grieving mother
Lost child

Heart, write it on my

Worried earth
Hungry tenant
Furious father
Lonely babe

Heart, write it on

Defenseless greens
Overturned shelters
Cold caretakers
In between brothers

Heart, write it
Heart, write
Heart,

And they shall be my people!

Nowhere but in the full and final forgiveness could I hope to understand:
“This is my body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God…

we are made

New.

Kathryn Sparks is a member of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Washington, D.C. This post is reprinted, with permission,  from NYAPC's 2013 Lenten Meditations booklet.

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