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Living In-Between

Today’s Reflection

LENT LASTS FORTY DAYS, a long time, because we need a good stretch of time to step back and be neither here nor there. We need plenty of time to drop our old ways of doing things and live in-between, not yet knowing what the new ways of doing things will be. Living in-between can be scary. But taking the full forty days is important; not to do so would be like denying ourselves a spiritual adventure, the gift of in-between time.

– Sarah Parsons

A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent

From page 20 of A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent by Sarah Parsons. Copyright © 2005 by Sarah Parsons. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe the spiritual adventure that Lent is allowing you. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

Isaiah 55:6, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who lack access to clean water. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Polycarp (February 23).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Rusty February 23, 2016, 3:36 am

    My Lenten spiritual adventure has to do with finding out about others’ spiritual journeys in my parish church. A number of us have been invited to write a devotional based on a passage of scripture, and those passages together with the parishioner-authored devotions have been sent via email, one a day, to church members during Lent. I am surprised, sometimes a little shocked, but also sometimes quite moved by the wide differences between people’s views and understandings of Christianity. Part of me shudders to see how what I consider to be basic Church doctrine has not been learnt or embraced by some, but my denomination (Episcopalian) is known as a place where people migrate to when they have been disenchanted with their previous life experiences with religion. I’m grateful that our pastor is doctrinally mainstream, and I am flattered that he (and our associate pastor, a woman who shares my more traditional view of the scriptures) have encouraged me to be a teach. This Lenten devotional experience has really opened my eyes to both the diversity that exists among people who consider themselves to be believers and the richness that can be found in ways God works in others’ lives. I pray that my experiences and study will help to enrich others in my parish, as well, and bring glory to God.

    Grateful for modern dentistry. Up early today for my second of three periodontal surgeries. Grateful my periodontist is an amazingly skilled surgeon and a rock solid Christian. I’m puzzled about why my Lord made me with such thin gum tissue when my teeth are otherwise terrifically healthy, but grateful and looking forward one day to being able to ask him about that. 🙂

  • Jill February 23, 2016, 4:07 am

    Rusty – thanks for sharing your thoughts this morning. I trust this procedure and the next will go well. I, too, feel shocked when I realize the differences in understanding, what I deem to be solid, foundational truths of Scripture. I find it interesting to then pursue a conversation with that person. I try to share my “take” without trying to necessarily “sell it” to the other person. I treasure deep, spiritual conversations. I always walk away feeling more knowledgeable and assured, even if I wasn’t swayed.
    This Lenten season is allowing me to look more deeply at areas where unforgiveness exist. And, also, areas (likely tied together) that I have not fully submitted. Last week’s small group study was on Hebrews 11, the Hall of Fame of Faith. Some of the questions poignantly hit me – what does true faith look like, what does it take to please God, do I expect things from God?
    I am taking all these questions and the thoughts they stir up in my mind – and I am going to stare at the ocean – and pray and mull over and listen. I find something about the beach and ocean to be very spiritual. To sit quietly with my eyes closed (I can’t stare at it all day long) and listen to the sound of the waves. In the early morning hours, while the beach is still quite unpopulated – to hear the birds. And, because I will be on the gulf this time, I will certainly take in some sunsets.
    Father – please draw me nearer to You. Guide me along the path You have ordained for me. Cleanse me from within.

  • Betsy February 23, 2016, 7:19 am

    My Lenten journey this season is teaching me about trust. Showing me that I need to trust God’s timing, not my own. So many people hurting; situations that need to change; relationships healed. If they all resolved on my timeline, how would my faith in God grow? I think I’ll go back and read that wonderful passage in Hebrews 11, Jill, to guide me in my thinking.
    Enjoy your time South, Jill. Something about the ocean and sand that is both soothing and therapeutic. Relax and rest.
    Grateful for dear friends as we gather for lunch today, time to work on my Bible study lesson and strong coffee this morning as I prepare for my day.
    Robert, Annalise is in my prayers as she nears her surgery date.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 23, 2016, 8:25 am

    The spiritual challenge I’m taking up this lent season is to live simply, starting with my wardrobe, I’m cutting down on clothes, kind of minimalist lifestyle. The money saved can go to a good cause or simply give to the less fortunate in my surroundings.

    Father God, open my eyes to the less fortunate in my surroundings and help me to put myself in their shoes. Grant me the compassion of Christ to give to the less fortunate generously.

    Father God, thank you for the clean water from our taps each day. May you provide clean water for people who live in areas that has no access to clean water. Help us not to waste water but to recycle and use it wisely.

  • Carol February 23, 2016, 10:02 pm

    Yesterday, I had a thought that I should give up trying to focus on lent this year. Along with little unexpected distractions, my thoughts and travel time are for my uncle who is resting quietly in hospice, my brother-in-law who experienced a major stroke 3 weeks ago, and now my daughter-in-law who has been hospitalized with severe abdominal pain. This is my second night sleeping over with my granddaughters. So, I guess for me, lent is simply unfolding on its own and I am observing from afar. And yet, I am living it in a passive way.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 24, 2016, 5:56 am

    Carol, keeping you and your family in prayer.

    May God grant you and your family strength and a double portion of His grace to go through this difficult period.

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