Monday, February 18, 2013

Weekend Gratitude: A Little Lenten Liturgy

The first Sunday in Lent: 
two crosses, 
one draped in rough burlap and royal purple,
the other rising from a crown of thorns.

Two crosses.

He died for us on one: 
"For the joy set before him he endured the cross."

He calls us to the other: 
"Take up your cross and follow me."


Yes, it's the first Sunday in Lent, and for some odd reason, the tech guys have not showed up for the service with the sound system or the overhead projector that we use in the middle school auditorium. The worship pastor hurries a few miles away to the church office to run off song sheets.  This is old style for those of us who have been in church for decades.  No microphones, no amplifiers, so we all move to the front rows and -- unplugged -- worship God, who is power enough.  The liturgy, fortunately, is printed in the bulletin: responsive readings, prayers, notes to ponder later.  The traditional mixes with the contemporary, but all are timeless words, eternal words, everlasting praise.


Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Blessed be God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and blessed be his kingdom, now and forever! (Psalm 103:1-5)

Chris Tomlin

Open up the skies of mercy

Rain down the cleansing flood

Healing waters rise around us
Hear our cries, Lord, let them rise

It's your kindness lord

That leads us to repentance

Your favor Lord, is our desire
It's your beauty Lord
That makes us stand in silence
Your love, Your love
Is better than life.

We can feel Your mercy falling

You are turning our hearts back again

Hear our praises rise to heaven
Draw us near, Lord, meet us here.

You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" is is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:15-17)

Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”  (Matthew 8:23-27)


During the season of Lent, we prepare our hearts for the remembrance and celebration of our Savior's passion, death, and resurrection.  It is a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal.  It is a time for mercy and healing.  It is a time of looking to the One who soothed the angry sea and can bring peace to our chaotic lives.

May the
Lord calm 
your soul,
comfort you with his love,
create in you a new spirit,
crown you with salvation,
call you to 
take up your 
cross, and
you with his

Virginia Knowles
P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent WeakleyI took the photo of the crosses at Lake Baldwin Church with my iPod on Sunday morning and then edited it with Picasa.  It will be my submission to the Sweet Shot Tuesday photo project tomorrow morning.  You can see my current photo collection here: Sweet Shot 2013.   

I will also link to the following blogs this week...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this encouraging post on Lent. I liked the cross.

    Thanks for linking up with me over at WholeHearted Home this week.


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