Lenten devotional writings

Exodus 20:1-17

Reflection- v. 3, ‘you shall have no other gods before me.’

As I sit down to write this my pocket keeps beeping, *beep beep* “One new text message” *beep beep* “Breaking news!” and I can’t stop myself from looking. Even when I’m incredibly busy somehow I make time to diddle on my phone. And this made me realize “when I’m in the hustle and bustle I find time for my phone, but I don’t really make time for God…” God asks that we put nothing before the Lord, and yet so many of us in our society do. Our modern world has traded the old false God’s for newer and shiner ones of technology, consumerism, and money. And nothing is wrong with having these things, but when we make them the most important thing we run into some trouble. We’ve created a hierarchy saying, God, you’re important, but not as important as this other thing… God has brought us out of the land of Egypt and led us out of the house of bondage, and so in this commandment God demands respect, not because the Lord is a vengeful God, but because God wants to be in relationship with us, because God wants us to see the God in others, and not put things before what’s truly important. And in life our most valuable commodity is time, it can’t be bought, it can’t be stored and unless you’re Marty McFly or Doc Brown, it can’t be traveled, all you can do is spend it. We each are given the same 24 hours, and it’s up to us as to what to do with it.

Prayer: God, walk with us each day as we prioritize our actions and our time.

 

Exodus 20:1-17

Reflection- v. 13, ‘You shall not murder.’

When I first looked at the 6th commandment I thought “I’ve never murdered anyone, so I must be doing this one right, right?” But upon a deeper look inwards of my own heart, I have found that I am guilty of breaking this commandment through hatred and anger at those who have wronged me. No, I have never killed anyone, but hatred is the seed from which murder grows. You see, everything we do, our actions, and our thoughts spur from our hearts. When we hate, internally, the damage we do to ourselves is the same. When we hate we poison ourselves from the inside out. The key to changing your heart is through action and the action God is calling us to take is to love and bless our enemy’s. As we say at Mercy, we need a revolution of love. Now that’s not an easy thing to do, our human nature has us wired to respond to hatred with hatred. But God is saying no, you have to rise above your nature and do good to your enemy. And once your heart is freed from the poison of hatred you might see your enemy is a flawed hurting person, like we all are, who needs Gods love just as much as you do.

Prayer: God, help me to love others, even those who have turned against me, help me to see their pain and your love in them.

 

Psalm 19

Reflection- v. 2, ‘Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.’

In this I see beautiful poetry, a poem about life. Day flows into night and night into day. Do you remember those anxious nights as a child? I remember mine; I would go to bed dreading the darkness of night, and worried about the boogieman underneath my bed. My relief would come when the morning sun would pierce through my curtain and wake me, taking away all of my worries. As my mom would sing me, the sun will come out tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar, the sun will come out tomorrow. While God does not cause the harsh times in our lives, he transforms the pain and the struggle into wisdom and knowledge to teach us. The days of our lives, the good, the bad and the ugly, are trying to speak to us, God, is trying to speak to us. We just have to take a minute, turn around and reflect on what has happened. God has gifted us humans with the skill of reflection, and through this we can learn and grow into who God is calling us to be. Through reflection we can find that life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us, and we can grow stronger.

Prayer Heavenly Father, help me see through all the good and all the bad, that all shall be well.

 

Psalm 19
Reflection- v. 3, ‘There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard’

To some people the sound of silence is evidence that there is no God, but this passage reminds me that the Lord is speaking to us always, and the clues of this are all around us. We can hear no physical voice, but in times of great triumph or tribulation we can sense those messages of motivation, and hope. Standing on the edge of a cliff on the South Kaibab trail of the Grand Canyon, with no one around me, and all I could see for miles were the beautiful sandy canyon walls, a crisp blue sky above, and the most profound silence I have ever heard. In that moment I remember feeling something say to me “You are home with me” I could not hear it, but I sensed it, and I felt comforted and peaceful. On the hike out of the canyon I mangled my ankle to the point where it was swelling so much it was almost pouring out over the boot and I sensed that same voice say to me “have no fear, I got you”

Prayer Oh holy one, help me to be still to hear your voice

 

 

 

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