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The Open Space of Lent

Today’s Reflection

IF WE PICTURE all the obstructions between us and God as a wilderness, Lent presents us with time to clear and cultivate a part of that wilderness, to create an open space in it. In this newly opened space, we may live more freely and commune more closely with the divine. We can transform this wilderness and make it our home, our garden, a place that invites God in and asks God to stay.

– Sarah Parsons
A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent

From page 9 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

How are you inviting God into your life during Lent? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:2-3, NRSV

This Week: Pray for families in conflict. 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: Gabriel Francis Possenti (February 27).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Jill February 26, 2018, 3:36 am

    I still feel very discombobulated – mostly not even aware it is Lent. Straying from my awareness of James, Galatians and 1 Corinthians…seemingly in survivor mode. God’s mercy has been so evident though – as virtually all interactions with my sister during this past week have been stress free.
    Mom had a very difficult day on Saturday, but rallied significantly yesterday. My dad needed the positivity of yesterday so badly. This has been so hard on him – seeing mom struggle so, not wanting to fight. Yesterday – again, God was merciful. Thank You, Father.
    I saw that Marcy was back on Saturday – wind to all of our sails. Father – thank You for this family, for holding us together.

  • robert moeller February 26, 2018, 4:52 am

    Not a super organized effort or plan on my part, but I am going to the Lenten lunch-lessons, attending the race relations discussions, and doing an activity that starts in March. Trying to figure out what I would do has been disjointed.
    Thankful for opportunities that have come my way.

    Thankful for the encouraging news about Jill, her parents and sister. Glad for the posts by Marcy, Lou, Andrea, and Mary. I join those prayers.

    A tough evening last night as it became clear Isis needed the kind of help that is not pleasant. She went to the vet and was put to sleep. It was a very tough night for Erich. This is not the first time he has done this, but he and Isis were very close. He expected a longer time with her after the surgery done late last year. Thankfully Isis has no more pain. Down the road I believe there will be another cat.

    Anneliese has started the Lyme disease treatment, very hopefully this will help resolve heart, blood pressure, and other problems as well. Grateful for your prayers.

    • April February 26, 2018, 9:40 pm

      Robert, my heart goes out to you and Erich at the passing of Isis. My nephew’s cat also passed this weekend and he was as sad as his son….it doesn’t matter what age we are when we lose a pet.
      Good to hear from everyone and I hold you in my prayers as we take each step on our journey of life. May we find open spaces in our busy schedules during Lent to invite our Lord and Savior to come in and be with us as we head to the Cross and then Glorious Easter!!
      Our sermon series is on forgiveness…very hard work…but what we pray each time in the Lord’s prayer. I had a chance to “practice” this weekend and afterwards I felt so much better….may I remember how much less “baggage” I have to carry when I forgive…thanks be to God…Amen.

      • robert moeller February 27, 2018, 2:50 am

        Thank you April, Erich is recovering, the need for a cat in the house leads us to the nearby shelter today. Thankful for photos, videos of Isis and soon both a paw print and ashes. Both of us have strong cat memories.

  • Julie February 26, 2018, 8:06 am

    Oh Robert, I am typing through tears. My deepest prayers and thoughts goo out to Erich. I also share a very strong bond with my cats and it takes me a long time to grieve their passing. Erich can take comfort in knowing that he did all that he could to give Isis a good life, includng not making her suffer in the end.
    Jill, it is normal for anyone to go through stages as they come to terms with a diagnosis of cancer. Bear with her and perhaps relate this to your father so he can know that it is normal for her and that she will eventually work through each stage.
    I had a bad night with much finger pain.
    Prayers for each and every one of the UR family members and each of their concerns. Some are repeated throughout the day and at night.
    Thank you and bless you for your prayers and friendships and spiritual mentoring
    When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
    Thomas Jefferson

    • robert moeller February 27, 2018, 2:53 am

      Very thankful for UR family prayers and thoughts, Yes, we firmly believe we did the best we could for Isis. She was such a sweet cat, helped Erich through some tough times. Photos and videos help us remember ber.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 26, 2018, 8:15 am

    Very grateful for a classmate to drive all the way to meet me for lunch today at my work place.

    Prayers for Julie and Erich

    Blessings to all

    • robert moeller February 27, 2018, 2:57 am

      Great to have a classmate visit it you during this tough time at work. Prayers that the situation will improve or you will move on.

      Thank you for your prayers for Erich. Best wishes to you and your family. You are all in my prayers.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 27, 2018, 10:44 pm

        Thanks Robert!

        May all be well with you, Erich and Anneliese!

  • Marcy February 26, 2018, 6:20 pm

    I am also lost during this Lent end season. So much fatigue, weakness and repeated attacks of inflammatory condition of my digestive tract are sucking the life out of me. I continue to pray for better days, but they, like my body, are weak. It’s strange that when praying for others, those prayers are strong and sure. God is leading me and I’m doing my best to follow.

    Jill, I am praying for all you are going through. You are so strong in faith and love for your dear parents. I’m remembering my own and wish they would have lived longer. I will continue to keep your Mom and Dad and your sister in my prayers also. Love and hugs!

    Robert, I, like Julie, am feeling pain and am tearfully praying for Erich and you too. Isis will remain in your memories and not only in sadness. I have three of my babies, Trevor, Alexis and Little Guy in urns. They mean that much to me. Some have questioned this, but they are the only “children” I’ll ever have. I was sent sympathy cards and spiritual assurances I’ll see them again. I do hope so. After Little Guy went to sleep, I couldn’t stand being alone in my apartment and went and adopted Lucy from the shelter only two days later. I was heartbroken and she was afraid. We needed each other!
    I’m also praying for successful treatments for Annaliese that her health will be returned to her in full. Thank you, Robert, for your wise and encouraging comments.

    Julie, I continue to pray for you as your daughter returning to work will mean less help for you. I also can understand that she needs to go back to work. You are not selfish, Julie, but in need of the help. I pray for warmer weather soon.

    Praises, Mary, for lunch with a classmate today. You certainly deserve that! I’m still praying for you, sweet sister, as you decide what to do about your job.

    Prayers for Andrea, Lou, Connie, April, Francesca, Betsy and all of our UR family, posting or reading.

    Hope to be able to get stronger soon. Thank you all for thinking and caring about me and most especially for your prayers. I am truly grateful.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • robert moeller February 27, 2018, 3:09 am

      Prayers for your health to improve. Thankful your faith is so strong and you share it so liberally. Our pets are very close to us. I’m thankful for photos, videos, and a paw print. Each of us remembers pets in different precious ways. There will be a visit to a nearby shelter today. Not having a cat in the house feels very awkward.

      Track, especially switches, screwed down and trains running. A very good feeling. Can run a train into the station, unhook the engine, run it around the train, hook up and head out on the mainline again. The roof-body fit is being tweaked on the combine. Then it’s on to the details – grab irons, brake wheels, mailbox slots, mail catchers and so on.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 26, 2018, 10:13 pm

    Thanks dear Marcy

    May all be well with you


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