In our church, whoever preaches on Sunday writes up a devotion with some follow up ideas and questions for consideration. Here is the devotion for this week:
Encounter: Read Psalm 43
I love Lent because it is the one season of the year where it is actually ok to be sad, to be broken, to grieve. Lent is about dying and death. It is about ashes. We are dry bones in desperate need of life, live given to us through the Holy Spirit. We are mourners, people who are keenly aware of our sin and rebellion and the death that it causes, who are in desperate need of forgiveness and grace.
It is during Lent that we can own the ways we have fallen short, own the ways that we are still in process. And if we look too deep down that well we can get lost in despair. And like Casey Affleck's character in Manchester by the Sea, we can come to the conclusion that we just can't beat it. Our flesh, our brokenness has gotten the better of us.
But as followers of Jesus Christ, we know that this is not the case. Like the end of Psalm 43 says, "Why is my soul so downcast, why so disturbed with in me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him my Savior and my God."
We beat it by putting some boundaries on our flesh. Part of the Lenten journey is to fast. Fasting takes something that we need or desire and die to it, recognizing that our true desire and true fulfillment comes not from ice cream, coffee, social media, or alcohol. But rather our true hope comes from our Savior and God!
How has your brokenness crushed your soul, crushed others? Where do you need Jesus to show up in your ashes of dying and mourning? If you look deep down the well of your flesh, what is a new area that you might be willing to invite Jesus to begin to work on, heal and transform?
Are you willing to put your flesh in check? What are you willing to fast from to heighten your senses and awareness for your need and dependance on Jesus?
BE A BLESSING:
One of the best ways through a dark season, or whenever you find yourself walking through grief, is to consider the needs of others above yourself. Would you consider finding time today, or even daily to intentionally bless someone in your life and put their needs, their heart before your own?
This Lenten season our church is fasting from something and is trying out the discipline of saying the Lord's Prayer daily. Would you consider joining us in these disciplines?