Lent 2/14/24   Psalm 51

Lent 2/14/24 Psalm 51

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Many of us took on the mark of sorrow and mortality in anticipation of the suffering Christ did for us at Easter. We did that at our church last night. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is the season of the spring where Christians all over the world focus in their walk with God. And particularly the price that Christ paid to reconcile us to Himself. It begins Ash Wednesday (yesterday) and ends on the Saturday before Easter and does not include Sundays. It is forty days because of the 40-days of suffering Jesus began in the wilderness to begin His ministry. Lent means begin. 

I know we haven’t talked about it much, but I woke up this morning with a sense that I should not neglect this season of commitment this year. Many of us just finished 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting in January. Some fasted the whole 31-days of the month. The thought of starting over with a new 40-day fast seems too sacrificial. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe this is not so much about drastic behavior changes but instead a refocusing of the mind. Having said that, a small reminder is often good to bring my body in submission with my will and spirit. 

So, since I am springing this on you, I invite you to do three things today. We will see what that looks like tomorrow.  

  1. First, pray an extra prayer. Apart from your regular prayer time, take 10 minutes (maybe at lunch time) and ask God what He would want you to do during Lent. I suggest these three questions: God. Where do you want me to draw closer to you in the next 40-days? God, what attitude do you want me to let go of in the next 40-days? And God, what sacrifice do you want me to make in the next forty days? 
  1. Second thing for today, read an extra Psalm. I am going to pick a Psalm each day to pray through and meditate over. To meditate is to put yourself in the Psalm. Pray it as if it were your own words. Think of how you feel, going before God with this particular passion. Today I suggest Psalm 51. I’ll add a list later today. 
  1. The final thing, just for today take a little time. Maybe at the end of the day, sit quietly for 15-minutes and think back quietly over the prayer that you prayed and the psalm that you read and allow God to speak to you. He may tell you to get up and go to bed, it’s been a long day. Or, He may wrap His arms around you and say, “Why don’t we spend the next 40-days getting to know one another even better.” 

I will write a little thing each morning to help you on this journey. Maybe you will respond back from time to time to encourage someone else. But, if you choose, we will journey together from now until Easter, letting God change us for our good and His glory. 

 And I will post all of this at www.branchesblog.com. If you subscribe there you will be alerted each day about the next step. Thanks for thinking about this. Sorry for the late notice.  




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