Reflections for Lent and Easter: Cultivating the Gift of Self
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I praise You in Your glorified body, seated at the right hand of the Father.
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I thank You that Your divine energy, Your resurrection power, is at work in me and through me. I confess that I need Your ongoing redemptive work within me and that I long to see redemption in the world around me. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
John This is what the Lenten Scripture readings and teachings are meant to correct in us. They would teach us how we can live in the midst of Babylon and not be destroyed by it, even as Christ prayed:. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. John . We are awesomely privileged people, chosen by God out of the world to be His. When we fear, follow, or join the world we lose our potency because we lose our oneness with God, His people, and our true selves. Lent is a needful, yearly gift. It is a time when we engage in disciplines that remind us of our not-of-this-world-ness. And it is a time when we invite the Holy Spirit to show us the ways the world has wooed us, cowed us, or numbed us.
We kneel that we might rise in joy as those who are kept, guarded, sanctified and sent by Jesus.
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Search me and know me, merciful God. Where have I deceived myself, justifying that which draws me away from You? What habit, allegiance, or indulgence are you calling me out of that I might be one with You and my brothers and sisters in You? Lord, give me knowledge and power for full repentance. Let this Holy Week be a time of full return to You, that I may be a potent witness of Your love to the world.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
Revelation There is a dangerous forgetfulness on our part that this world is not our true and final home. This has been greatly exacerbated by the fact that our education systems, drawing their theories from materialist philosophy, have claimed heaven to be off-limits and have taught us to look within ourselves and to this earth for the ultimate good…. I think this explains why we have such difficulty in understanding and celebrating Lent in beneficial ways. We are no longer sure deep down that we are exiles, that this is not the promised home. Our Lenten disciplines impel us to kneel in sobriety, confessing hard and hopeful truths so that we might clear some solid ground on which to stand.
This is reality: I am an exile. I was born into a created-good but sin-stained, demon-haunted world.
I was carried off by my own rebellion and only the blood of the Son of God was able to purchase me back from my slavery to sin and death. I now belong to, and live in, Him. He is preparing a place for me and for all who will receive Him, and we will live with Him forever, finally then knowing what it is to be at home. Glorious God, what a day that will be! Thank you for the victory of Your holiness on the Cross. I ask you now for Lenten grace. Sharpen my vision of heaven and strengthen my longing to reach my true home.
Forgive me for yielding to the seduction of this world. Grant me power to rid my life of any action or posture that denies the hope of heaven. Holy God, You are worthy to receive all honor and glory and praise, now and always. Give me grace that I may join the worshippers who will rejoice forever before Your throne. Joel That we might be more fully present to God is the very reason for fasting. It is then we can repent aright, and make the necessary prayers of intercession and atonement for others.
Lent — Christus Ministries
Each pang of hunger or want is a prompting to return to God with all our hearts. This season of repentance is an invaluable gift, most needful and fruitful. We can be turned around to once again face Him. We are no longer compelled to substitute the shadow for the real, our impressions about glory for the thing itself. Save Save.
Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016
Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations. I know of no modern poet who could have penned these words. Lewis, as a dinosaur that somehow miraculously survived, and then suddenly appeared in this our time with its full Judeo-Christian symbolic system intact. Write out that phrase in your journal just now, and then listen to God about what it means. This means freedom from fear. No matter what man has done to me, or will do.
No matter how badly I have fallen and have incurred the consequences, all that raises its head above the Lordship of Christ will die.
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It dies as I dare to allow Jesus to reveal my sin or that of another against me. But that is where Jesus is found.
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He descended into the abyss. In His crucifixion, He was swallowed up by the blackness but not extinguished. In truth, the deeper He descended and the weaker He became, the more He revealed His power. For the abyss finds its end in Jesus. He established the ground of the abyss by planting Himself at its darkest, most sordid point, and then unfurling Himself there, in glory. He frees the disfigured to rise with Him in newness of life, in order to restore them to their true design. Our private and interpersonal abysses find their end in Jesus.
He establishes the wonder of His love and creativity in those formerly hateful and barren places. He unfurls there and raises up one like myself to proclaim His substantial truth on the very ground once claimed by the darkness.
The weapons of our warfare are incarnational ; they have to do with the Real Presence of God with and within us. If I stand and preach the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, and am not living in its incredible, substantive reality , if in other words, I am not married to Christ, and thereby a vessel that both holds and emanates His righteousness, I will be unable to speak and to be the truth our age is dying to hear.
This gospel, in its incarnational form, that is, preached in the power of the Presence, delivers souls from the spirit of this age. It heals. I will do no good, no matter what I say and teach, if I am not myself a living epistle, one from whom the very Light and the very Holiness, and the very Glory of God Himself emanates — even explodes into the lives of others who hunger for God and for meaning.
And that means I will be all the more human, fully human. The earth was given to us, the Scriptures tell us. Address such a sharing to MPC, P.
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Box , Peoria IL Also, you may want to share about a healing you have received in a MPC conference, and we invite you to write that out as well. To write the story of our healing is nearly always to understand and receive more! To have the privilege of greeting you once again is precious indeed. As I write, it is Holy Week, and my heart is full to bursting with the message of our crucified and risen Lord and with thanksgiving for our great, unspeakable inheritance in Him. The Paschal message proclaims the victory of the holy over the unholy, the noble over the ignoble, and of a Kingdom whose King reigns in righteousness and enables us to do the same.
For our sake he God the Father made him God the Son to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.