OUR LENTEN JOURNEY brings us to the time when Jesus faces betrayal, arrest, desertion, trial, and crucifixion. Disciples and followers travel with Jesus for a period of time. They see his miracles and witness his healings. They listen as he talks about the kingdom of God, and they hear new teachings. Some of these followers he names as friends, but these friends desert Jesus when the Romans arrest him. They run and hide in fear. The disciples’ actions during Holy Week do not serve as strong role models for discipleship today.
As we near the end of the journey and approach Jesus’ resurrection, let us consider a hymn that does not relate directly to Lent or Easter; it is, instead, a hymn of daily life, written by Charles Wesley and published in 1749. We sing the hymn, set to the tune “Duke Street,” infrequently.
Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labor to pursue; thee, only thee.
Resolved to know in all I think or speak or do.
What is your daily labor? You and I share at least one task in common: prayer. Jesus Christ calls us to pray. Our prayers cast out fear and open us to hospitality and friendship. Our prayers give us wisdom and courage to initiate relationships, to extend grace to strangers, and to entertain angels unaware. Our daily labor in prayer encourages us to fast from apathy, to serve others, feed the hungry, challenge injustice, and be the body of Christ in the world.
– George Hovaness Donigian
A World Worth Saving
From pages 104-105 of A World Worth Saving: Lenten Spiritual Practices for Action by George Hovaness Donigian. Copyright © 2013 by George Hovaness Donigian. All rights reserved Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What does it mean to you to think of prayer as your daily labor? Share your thoughts.
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
John 13:21, NRSV
This Week: pray for people observing Holy Week and celebrating Easter around the world. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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 website.
This week we remember: Clara Barton (April 12).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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