Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who Do You Say I Am?

I realized partway through yesterday that it was Ash Wednesday.  The beginning of Lent, the 40 days when we focus on Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  I have to admit, Lent ‘snuck up’ on me this year.  In the past couple of years I’ve helped put together Lenten Devotionals for my church, including writing last year’s.  So, that helped keep it in front of me.  Last week I was really focused on the Transfiguration, so didn’t think much past heading down the mountain. 
In all the hustle and bustle of getting suitcases packed, writing and re-writing lists of things to do, worrying about how quickly my time is passing, Lent was simply not on my radar. I made no special plans to give something up or add something in (which is the new ‘giving up’!) or doing a specific devotional.  I feel like it’s a loss.  And, it saddens me.  I feel like I’ve once again allowed my rather small life to overshadow Jesus and His infinitely huge sacrifice for all of us.
But, in the busyness is when I think we most need to focus on Jesus, so I’m going to share the Lenten devotional the Holy Spirit led me to write last year.  I'm a day behind, so I'll be 'doubling up' today, but then hope to get on track!
This devotional is called “Who Do You Say I Am?” I invite you to stop by often during Lent to join in this time of preparing your heart and mind for Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection.  I invite you to become immersed in the Gospel accounts of the last weeks of Jesus’ life.  Through God’s holy and inspired words, I invite you to meet the Word, our Savior and Messiah.  To find the answer to the question Jesus asks each of us: “Who do you say I am?” 
Each day you will:
Be Still:  Each devotion begins with prayer, an invitation to be still and ask God to quiet you as you prepare to read His Scripture.  Put aside the tasks and trials of the day, and simply be in the presence of the One who loves you.  The prayers printed here are just a suggestion.  You are encouraged to use your own words as you speak to our loving Father.
Be Strengthened:  Daily life can sap your energy and strength.  The busyness of schedules and the stresses of work and family can leave you feeling weak and discouraged.  This Lent, you are invited to be strengthened through the living, breathing Word of God.  As food is necessary each day, so, too, is spending time with the Bread of Life. 
Be Stretched:  Each devotion ends with a question or two to ponder and carry into your day.  Take time to consider the questions, asking God to help you stretch and grow in Him.  Don’t feel limited to the questions posed.  Ask your own, and explore the answers, perhaps with your family, and always with the Holy Spirit. 
It is my prayer that as you read these intense and moving passages, you will encounter the Christ, the Son of God.  I pray you will be assured of Jesus’ deep love for you.  And, I pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will go out into the world to share this Good News.

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