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Today’s Reflection

THE SEASON OF LENT is about preparation, so that we can “Enter [God’s] gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise” (Ps. 100:4) with the quality of renewed spiritual energy that comes in response to the sacred rhythms of daily observance. Easter celebrates the victory of light over dark-ness and the reality of the kingdom Christ invites us to explore.

But Easter, like Christmas, has fallen victim to our cultural penchant for sucking meaning from significant Christian holidays and replacing that meaning with tawdry values borrowed from the secular world, values rooted in consumerism and humanism and our incessant demand to be entertained.

—Derek Maul
Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent

From page 9 of Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent by Derek Maul. Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

In what ways do you prevent the holiday celebrations from distracting from the  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
—Psalm 100:4, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

This is Holy Week, the most important week of the church year. Read more about this “Big Event” by visiting upperroom.org.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill April 15, 2019, 4:17 am

    Both last year and this year, I have been unable to given the appropriate time and devotion to Lent. In years previous – it has been a most meaningful time for me. But last year it came on the heals of my mom’s diagnosis and then this year during her final weeks. Yesterday at church (oh how good it was to be back…) we received a Holy Week booklet with devotions, readings, passages. I am looking forward to incorporating it this week.
    So grateful to return to church yesterday, for fellowship with familiar faces, for embracing hugs, for worship music. Grateful that my home and my dad’s place were unscathed from a line of storms which came through early last evening. The same cannot be said for my sister’s house. I massive tree limb broke through the roof and they had water coming into their dining room. I will have to check in on them today. Grateful to be heading back to school today. It is going to be different, yet familiar at the same time.
    Prayers for Mary and her family during this difficult time.

  • robert moeller April 15, 2019, 6:50 am

    There are no celebrations this week until Easter. Communion on Thursday is one of the most sacred and holy communions of the year. What Jesus did on that first Last Supper when He gave bread and wine, His body and blood, to the very one who would betray Him is an example for us all. We need to be close to Jesus all this week. God’s peace to everyone.

    I pray Mary and her family receive God’s peace.

    Prayers for Becky and a speedy repair to the damaged roof.

    May Marcy receive the medical care she needs, be sustained, and insured. Thankful for her helper, Mary.

    Hopeful Julie will soon have the much needed resolution to her home life, and her hands and foot will improve with the warmer weather.

    Prayers for Rusty that he can see well and go to work. I lift up Betsy, Edy’s Bill awaiting surgery, Connie, Andrea and Lowell, Alexis and her son, Lou and her daughters, the needs of all the UR family and worldwide believers. Thankful the Lord knows of our needs and cares for us.

    Hopefully the challenge of closing costs will be met. Have a new potential lender who I will talk to today. Payments after the closing are very doable.
    Finding the condo was quite easy, locating financing has been a roller coaster.

    Have a holy and sacred week remembering what Christ did for us.

  • Andrea April 15, 2019, 7:56 am

    This holy week, I am very aware of the simple things for which I am grateful. The joy of playing in bell choir yesterday, the good companions in bell choir, a walk partway down the steps to our pond, where I watched the geese.

    This morning and every morning, my thoughts go to this dear community of friends/prayer warriors, and I pray for each of you. Special prayers for Jill and Mary in the loss of their mothers, a loss like no other. God bless all who visit here today.

  • Julie April 15, 2019, 8:27 am

    I try to keep Christmas as a holy holiday, but have not been as successful with Easter.
    My heartfelt prayers for Mary. I agree with Andrea, the loss of a mother is devestating. How comforting for your mum that you were with her through the night. May you, your sister and father find strength and peace from the Lord and from each other.
    Prayers for Jill and her family. Prayers for Becky as she deals with home devastation and the subsequent repairs. How unfortunate considering she is already grieving.
    Prayers for Andrea, thankful for slow return to normal.
    Prayers for April, Bill, and Edy, Betsy, Lou and her daughter, and Rusty.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be well and still have Mary’s help.
    Prayers for Connie, may her health continue to allow mobility.
    I spent yesterday by myself as Megan was with her father due to next week being Easter. I went out for meals and to a movie. I even went to church. We will be getting a new minister soon. I would like to start going then as a supportive parishioner. All the people I spoke with expressed consternaion due to his being African American. I find it a refreshing and much needed change. We shall see how it goes for him.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family and thank you for your prayers which are a balm to my battered soul.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 15, 2019, 9:29 am

    Thank you everyone for your prayers and condolences!

    May God bless you abundantly!

    Blessings!

  • Edy April 15, 2019, 12:59 pm

    This Easter (Vigil) my 2 great grandchildren will be baptized ( my grandsons children ages 7 and 4, I was a very young grandmother). These kids would never have seen the inside of church without my daughter and me taking them to VBS and Sunday school. I’m very proud of my grandson coming to church yesterday ( Palm Sunday). So….. Easter has ALWYS been my favorite holiday. This year will be a special day because these little ones will be formally welcomed into Jesus’ family. I am so very blessed. Thank you all my UR praying friends for prayers for Bill. Only 3 weeks away now!

  • April April 15, 2019, 7:49 pm

    My heart goes out to Jill and Mary on the passing of their Mom, Mum. There is no one like your own Mom, Mum. The devotion you both showed to each is awesome, bless you and all the other members of your family at this time. I lift you up to our Lord and Savior, may you feel the comfort of His arms holding you close and know that you are loved always.
    After my Dad passed, my Mom and I joined my sister for Easter week in Washington DC and we attended the National Cathedral for Easter services. I can still remember how in awe I was of the Cathedral and felt His presence touching me, saying, “your Dad is with me.” I felt at peace. My Mom has also passed but Easter is still my favorite Christian holiday as I remember both of them. I send Easter cards with religious messages such as Rejoice, He is Risen, and share with my family that this is my favorite. I send gifts that relate to “new”….clothes, hats, bright spring colors. If I could have the family together for one holiday, it would be Easter….still working on that.
    I read the “Big Event” that was referenced and said yes….this is why I love Easter!!
    I hold our UR family in my thoughts and prayers….as each of you post, I lift a prayer and for those that don’t post, you are in my prayers too.
    I pray for God’s wisdom and love to be with each and every one of you, that we might be lights in this dark world. Blessings dear UR family during this Holy Week of Easter.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 15, 2019, 7:59 pm

      Thank you April!

      May God bless you and your family abundantly!

      Blessings!

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