Lenten Meditations 2019

Meditation 4

Scripture Readings:

Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Romans 10:8b-13
Luke 4:1-13
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16

In monastic communities, Psalm 91 is said every night at compline, which is the last prayer office of the day just before bed. Compline is the only office whose psalms never change, it is always Psalms 4, 91, and 134 which are said each night. So what makes Psalm 91 worth praying every single night for a lifetime?

Scripture often tells us to trust in God and not be afraid, but rarely are we painted so poignant a picture of what that actually looks like. The psalmist says that the person who trusts God is truly free to live without fear of anything, even the strength of lions or the venom of snakes. Psalm 91 is a reminder every single day that through God, we can live with a confidence so bold that even clear and present danger will not keep us from doing the right thing.

The confidence born of trusting faith is what it takes to be generous toward one’s community even in a time when one’s stability is not yet established, as this week’s passage from Deuteronomy encourages. Note the text doesn’t say, “Wait a few seasons until you feel comfortable in your new home and give God what’s left over after a bumper crop.” Nope. The text says to give God’s community the very first of your produce, and make giving it away a party! Because what you have was given to you, and you can trust that out of the same abundance you will receive more.

It is our trust that God is good that allows us to generously live out the abundance we are experiencing, instead of clenching our fists ever more tightly around what God has so freely given us. Maybe the monastics are onto something with this practice of reminding themselves to confidently trust God every day.

-Simeon Bruce

Meditation 3

For Lent 1

“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.”

-Virginia Schneck

 

Meditation 2

FAITH VS. FEAR

In times of great change, my default is to be pulled into fear and anxiety. My initial response is to live in my head and think of all the possible variables and outcomes. It is much harder to be still and sit with the assurance that God is with me. All too often, if I listen to my inner voice (God), I am able to find moments of peace with the challenge, and allow fear to transition into anticipation. When I lose focus and the fear becomes painful, I find solace by shifting my focus from my own self-centered fears to another person’s needs. The shift towards serving others allows the necessary perspective for re-calibration. I truly believe that every day presents itself with a million little options, and that I should be GRATEFUL for the choices I am granted. If I live in gratitude for what life brings my way, the fear and anxiety of the unknown will subside. When I am able to reflect on the“challenges” survived, I am able to recognize that God has acted in my best interest every step of the way. The challenge is to be open and aware of His protection and guidance at all time.

Isaiah 58:

The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,whose waters never fail.

-Brandon Tully

 

Meditation 1

Scripture Readings:
Joel 2:1-2,12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-122
Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Matthew 6:1-6,16-21
Psalm 103 or 103:8-14

So, which is it, God? This Lent, shall we assess the chaos in our lives and let You bring us order and peace? Or, shall we realize we are way too comfortable and let You shake it up a bit? “Wade in the water, Wade in the water, Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water, God is gonna trouble these waters…”

Where do you need to be this Lent? If you’ve been paying attention, there is a bit of Chaos in our waters right now. Where will you find Shalom? No better time than Lent to figure that out. Are you comfortable? Uh oh. Might be time for God to trouble your waters. Chaos to Shalom, Inertia to Stirring the Waters. Which will your Lent be this year? Let those with ears to hear, slow down and listen. Ram Das says, “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” This year’s contributors will help us ponder where we are and where we need to go in Lent 2019. Traveling mercies to you, whichever path this is for you.

–Gretchen Château, Co-Curator

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