Lent the Roots 2015 Watering image by Jan Richardson
Lent the Roots 2015 Watering image by Jan Richardson
Watering the Roots: Creating a Culture of Generous Faith Dear Friends, Throughout this year, we will be considering the generosity of God and the generosity we reflect in response. Each Church Year season (Lent/Holy Week, Easter/Eastertide/Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Advent, Christmas/Christmastide/Epiphany) will have a specific focus through which we consider the many ways we can be reflections of God’s generous nature in our faith understandings and faith practices. The revelation of God’s generosity to us is revealed to us as we take on the disciplines of our faith. Disciplines are those actions that we commit to as followers of Jesus that position us to become practitioners of God’s generosity; they are the everyday structures of activities that ready us to see God’s activities and hear God’s call on our lives. Our lives should be constructed so that the following activities become daily, rich practices, as natural and meaningful to us as breathing: • • • • • • Generous individual and corporate prayer Generous Bible personal reading and Bible study with others Generous acts of caring Generous justice to broken people and situations in our world Generous and regular worship in assembly with God’s people Generous giving of resources as both ministry and witness. Nadab is the biblical Hebrew word most similar to the meaning of “generous”; I hope we will come to understand. It is used in Exodus 35:5, Chronicles 28:21, and Psalm 51:14. In each verse, it is the willing nature; as one author put it is the “beloving” instead of only the “believing” nature. How different is it if we belove God, belove Jesus, and belove the Holy Spirit instead of only believing? Generosity is an overflow of love. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our faith is rooted in God’s love, and we grow those roots of love through our faith disciplines. This year, you are invited to reclaim or deepen these disciplines in your life, watering them through regular practice and attention, and realizing more and more the generous nature, the willing love with which God has blessed us. Think on the passages that follow. Can you see the disciplines I’ve identified in Contents their words? 2/
Watering the Roots  Creating a Culture of Generous Faith Dear Friends, Throughout this year, we will be considering the ge...
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17) Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2) A beautiful biblical expression of generous giving of resources is found in 1 Chronicles 29, too long of a passage to include here. Take some time to read it, though. King David and the gathered assembly are unified in their giving toward the temple they would build to house the worship of God. Their excitement, their willingness, and their understanding of God’s generosity in their lives leaps off the page! Working together for the continuing expansion of God’s glory among them into the future captures their concern and results in great giving and great thanksgiving. In blessing God, they bless one another and the generations to come. Beloving God and beloving others as a worshiping assembly with a willing, generous spirit, they embody and enact the beloved generosity of God. Watering the roots of our faith is about our individual and corporate efforts to grow and remain faithful to God over a lifetime. Join the effort. Grow with us. Remain faithful. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21) Faithing with you, J. Larry Haun, Pastor Fredericksburg Baptist Church 3/ Contents
As God   s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. B...
Lent 2015 Getting to Know Ourselves, Getting to Know God: A Lenten Journey in Psalms Preface Strategies for Opening the Scriptures Responding to Revelations in the Psalms February 18th-February 22nd~Psalm 25:1-10~Our shame/God’s steadfast love February 23rd-March 1st~Psalm 22:22-31~Our remembering/God’s forgetting March 2nd-March 8th~Psalm 19~Our striving/God’s comforting March 9th-March 15th~Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22~Our ignorance/God’s wisdom March 16th-March 22nd~Psalm 119:9-16~Our time (chronos)/God’s time (kairos) March 23rd-March 29th~Psalm 118:1-9, 19-29~Our mortality/God’s eternity March 30th-April 5th~Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24~Our expressions of thanks/God’s lifechanging victory Holy Week Readings Appendices For Adults & Youth- For complete images and additional devotional thoughts Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook ideas For Youth - Lent calendar 4/ For Children and Families- Additional devotional thoughts with activities Contents
Lent 2015 Getting to Know Ourselves, Getting to Know God  A Lenten Journey in Psalms Preface Strategies for Opening the Sc...
Preface “When we read the Psalms, we are meant to learn things about God and about human nature and about how life is to be lived. Some poetry makes no claim to instruct the mind. The Psalms do. They are meant to be instructive about God and man and life.” ― John Piper “The Psalter is the prayer book of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word. He prayed the Psalter and now it has become his prayer for all time…we understand how the Psalter can be prayer to God and yet God’s own Word, precisely because here we encounter the praying Christ… because those who pray the psalms are joining in with the prayer of Jesus Christ, their prayer reaches the ears of God. Christ has become their intercessor…” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer “The psalms teach us about God and our relationship with Him; that is the heart of theology. The Psalter may be thought of as a portrait gallery of God, presenting us with multiple images of who God is.” ― Tremper Longman Through your reading and reflecting with selected psalms during this Lenten season, you will set out on a journey of self-examination meant to help you realize the tensions we feel as a Christian; there should be a tension between living life as a citizen of God’s kingdom and living life without God’s rule or care—it shouldn’t be the same. Often, we Christians live as if there is no difference between the two, resting in our belief in Christ without effort on our part to open ourselves further to the Holy Spirit to transform our thoughts, our hearts, our hands, and our worship. Fully trusting in God for everything comes as a result of our noting and appreciating God’s saving acts in the past, in the present, and for the future; fully loving God and others comes as a result of our noting and appreciating God’s great and generous love within those acts over a lifetime. Through such, we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, intentionally. This Lenten journey is such an opening. Within it, you will practice the disciplines of Bible reading, prayer, scripture interpretation, and forming a response to revelation. Over the forty days of Lent, you will immerse yourself in selected psalms, contemplating each one for a given time, daily utilizing one or more of the strategies suggested or perhaps a strategy of your own. Your responses to the psalms can be kept private, however ways to share the revelations you receive are provided. Consider sharing what you are learning as a means of revelation and encouragement to others; sharing together from our vantage points builds a revelation with integrity, more generous of God’s intended revelation in the Word. 5/ Preface “All the cunning of the devil is exercised in trying to tear us away from the Word.”― Martin Luther
Preface     When we read the Psalms, we are meant to learn things about God and about human nature and about how life is t...
Strategies for Opening the Scriptures Read through Ben Patterson’s ways to spend time with psalms. Try approaching the same psalm in a different way each day. Notice what happens as you take this slow and thorough approach with scriptures. Five Ways to Pray the Psalms 1. Say Them Out Loud. Just read the Psalms slowly and thoughtfully, assenting to what they say with as much understanding as you have, intellectually and emotionally. Don't just read them, pray them; say them from the heart. The Psalms contain both the Word God has to say to us about prayer and the words he wants us to say to him in prayer. "This is pure grace," exclaimed Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "that God tells us how we can speak with him and have fellowship with him." 2. Festoon Them. Think of a psalm as a Christmas tree. Read it and then festoon it with your own prayers, as you would decorate a tree. Your prayers are answers to what God says to you in the psalm. One way, to understand a psalm's intent, is to read it through the lens of the "three Rs": Rejoice: What do I find here that gives me cause to rejoice, to give praise and thanks? Repent: What do I read here that brings to light sin in my life? Request: What in this psalm can inform the way I pray for others and myself? 3. Paraphrase Them. Meditate on and study a psalm until you understand it well enough to put it into your own words. Then paraphrase the psalm as you have come to understand it, and pray your paraphrase. No one need read or hear what you have written but you and the Lord, who delights in the prayers of his people. 4. Learn Them by Heart. Memorize the Psalms—but not by rote. Rather, learn them by heart; make their words your words. Come to understand them so well you can recite them—by inflection and tone—as though you had written them yourself. This is by far the best way I know to learn to pray the Psalms. I can think of no more powerful way to allow the Word of God to change who you are and how you think. Over the years, the prayers of the Psalms have offered incomparable comfort and clarity in desperate, murky, and confusing situations, when I didn't have a worthwhile word of my own to say—when I quite literally didn't have a prayer. 5. Marinate in Them. Some people use the Bible like they use spice to liven up the taste of food—a little Tabasco here, some salt and pepper and oregano there; a particular psalm to read when you are (check one) sad or glad or afraid or lonely or struggling with doubt. But it's better to use the Psalms as you would a marinade. A spice touches only the surface of the food; a marinade changes its character. The soul should marinate in Scripture by repeated, thoughtful, slow, comprehensive, and Spirit-enlightened reading. 6/ Preface Abridged from God's Prayer Book by Ben Patterson. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/october/35.88.html
Strategies for Opening the Scriptures Read through Ben Patterson   s ways to spend time with psalms. Try approaching the s...
Responding to Revelations in the Psalms Read the brief context provided with each psalm. Then, consider the tension or juxtaposition given as a focus point for the psalm. Where in your life are you feeling or have you felt that tension? Then, respond to revelation as you usually do in your private time of devotions (i.e. prayer, journaling, drawing, discussion, compassionate activity, etc.) and/or offer your thoughts to our faith community in the following forms if this is a new discipline of practice for you: 1) Use your phone! Take pictures and write short descriptive statements to illustrate an interpretation of the tension set up in the psalm. Consider what visuals you see in your awareness to the tension, looking for images of the tension as you are going about your day each day. Or, “set up” images, thinking about how to metaphorically relate the identified tension in the psalm. 2) Write something to share. A prayer inspired by the psalm, or a poem that captures the essence of the tension in the psalm, or perhaps a three-sentence testimony of a time when you lived the tension described in the psalm. 3) Paint, draw, or use some other artistic medium to express the tension of the psalm as you interpret it through your study and prayer. 4) Sing it! Many psalms have been set to music. How can you imagine singing the psalm? What part of the psalm would you use as its refrain to emphasize the revealed tension within it? Record what you discover and create. Responses that you are willing to share should be sent throughout the season to any staff member (Larry, Patti, Jeanne, Dennis, Ann, David, Erin, Chris, Tammy) @fredericksburgbaptist church.org. Unless specified otherwise, your sending them to staff is permission to publish on our Facebook page and in our newsletter, for projection in worship, as a part of our Sunday order of service, and in conjunction with a later presentation in a group gathering to celebrate our church family’s Easter arrival at Lent’s end. 7/ Preface
Responding to Revelations in the Psalms Read the brief context provided with each psalm. Then, consider the tension or jux...
Feb. 18th - Feb. 22nd Psalm 25:1-10 ~ Our Shame/God’s steadfast love How have you known God’s steadfast love? What biblical examples are there of God’s love? What is it in the way you love God and others that could shame you before God? Is it also what shames you before others? Why or why not? If God’s abundant generosity of steadfast love is the measure of our shame, how do we ever begin to do likewise? How are we helped in loving God and others? 8/ Our shame/God’s steadfast love Psalm 25:1-10
Feb. 18th - Feb. 22nd Psalm 25 1-10   Our Shame God   s steadfast love How have you known God   s steadfast love  What bib...
Feb. 23rd - March 1st Psalm 22:22-31 ~ Our remembering/God’s forgetting How is God being or has God been generous in forgetting, or forgiving, your times of impatience? What stories from Scripture reveal God’s generous faithfulness in the midst of our faithlessness? Think about what increases your faithfulness, your patience in trusting God. How could you intentionally spend more time building your trust in God? What will you have to change? How is our remembering in relationship different from God’s? 9/ Our remembering/God’s forgetting Psalm 22:22-31
Feb. 23rd - March 1st Psalm 22 22-31   Our remembering God   s forgetting How is God being or has God been generous in for...
March 2nd - March 8th Psalm 19 ~ Our striving/God’s comforting In what situations have you recognized your inadequacies to get along with others? What part did you have to play in those problems? Why? What might you have done differently, especially if you would have prayed for the peace of Christ to fill you? Read verses 7-14 of the psalm over and over. Why is the Lord’s law called perfect? Why is it so valuable? What would happen if we all could follow what God established in Exodus 20:1-17 as the way for God’s people to live together? How is Jesus another saving act of the generous continuing covenant love of God? How will you join Jesus in bringing peace to your home, community, and world? How will you access Christ in the Spirit to get along with others in the world? 10/ Our striving/God’s comforting Psalm 19
March 2nd - March 8th Psalm 19   Our striving God   s comforting In what situations have you recognized your inadequacies ...
March 9th - March 15th Psalm 107:1-3,17-22 ~ Our ignorance/God’s wisdom When have you complained to God? What did you want to accomplish with your complaining? In God’s wisdom, we are loved during and beyond any complaining we could ever do. God knows the mental and emotional pain and the sickness unrelenting stress can cause within us. What do you learn from the psalm about moving beyond complaining? What pattern of prayer do you learn from the psalm? 11/ Our ignorance/God’s wisdom Psalm 107:1-3,17-22
March 9th - March 15th Psalm 107 1-3,17-22   Our ignorance God   s wisdom When have you complained to God   What did you w...
March 16th - March 22nd Psalm 119:9-16 ~ Our time (chronos)/God’s time (kairos) What is the difference in the purpose of living a life with Christ and living a life without Christ? How are you succeeding and failing at living your life in Christ? Why? How could you turn your life, your every day living moment-by-moment, more toward a distinct life lived with the “new covenant,” Christ, written on your heart? What would it take to sustain such a turn? Who could offer you accountability? Submission to God’s time, eternity, rearranges everything in our lives. How can you begin to think about your life as being subsumed in God’s time and God’s will? What will need to change? 12/ Our time (chronos)/God’s time (kairos) Psalm 119:9-16
March 16th - March 22nd Psalm 119 9-16   Our time  chronos  God   s time  kairos  What is the di   erence in the purpose o...
March 23rd - March 29th Psalm 118:1-9,19-29 ~ Our mortality/God’s eternity What meaning does this psalm have for you in light of God’s plan to restore all of creation? How might your celebration of Holy Week be different because of this revelation? 13/ Our mortality/God’s eternity Psalm 118:1-9,19-29
March 23rd - March 29th Psalm 118 1-9,19-29   Our mortality God   s eternity  What meaning does this psalm have for you in...
March 30th - April 5th Psalm 118:1-2,14-24 ~ Our expressions of thanks/ God’s life-changing victory Read the entirety of the psalm. Now, take time to re-read verses 17-18. What do you realize? What should this revelation lead to in your life? How about during this Holy Week? [Additional Holy Week scriptures are included in the Appendices. Be in the week with Jesus!] Of what purpose is the worshiping community to God as people of this experience with God? Read Revelation 5:1-14. Each time you worship with the assembled people of God, can you believe that you are joining that heavenly on-going worship? Can you remember and embrace the reality of God’s presence made available to us in the presence of Christ that is real in our corporate worship through the Holy Spirit (Mt. 18:20)? 14/ Our thanks/God’s victory Psalm 118:1-2,14-24
March 30th - April 5th Psalm 118 1-2,14-24   Our expressions of thanks  God   s life-changing victory Read the entirety of...
Holy Week Readings Day 1 (Palm Sunday): Read Matthew 21:1-11. (for more reading: Luke 19:29-44 Mark 11:1-11, John 12:12-50) Day 2: Read Matthew 21:12-20 and John 12:1-14. (for more reading: Mark 11:11-33) Day 3: Read Matthew 21:20-27. (for more reading: Matthew 21:28-23:39, Mark 11:20-12:44) Day 4: Read Luke 22:1-6 and Mark 14:1-11. (for more reading: Matthew 24-25, Matthew 26:17-30) Day 5 (Last Supper): Read John 19:1-16 and Isaiah 54:7. (for more reading: Luke 22:7-52, John 13-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, Mark 14:12-72) Day 6 (Good Friday): Read Mark 14:53-15:41, Isaiah 53:5-6, and 1 Peter 1:18-21. (for more reading: Luke 22:47-53, 23:39-43, John 19:1-37) Day 7: Read John 19:38-42 and Romans 6:22-23. (for more reading: Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-66) 15 Day 8 (The Resurrection): Read Mark 16:1-7 and Matthew 28:1-20. (for more reading: John 20:1-21:31, Acts 1:9) Our expression of thanks/God’s life-changing victory
Holy Week Readings Day 1  Palm Sunday   Read Matthew 21 1-11.  for more reading  Luke 19 29-44 Mark 11 1-11, John 12 12-50...
Feb. 18th - Feb. 22nd Appendix Psalm 25:1-10 ~ Our Shame/God’s steadfast love Context: Usually paired as a lectionary response to Genesis 9:8-17, a passage relating God’s covenant care. Human history reveals our many failures to love as God loves. We allow our wants and needs to take first place before God, family, or any other in our lives. We often take advantage of situations or take what we want without considering possible costs to God’s creatures and creation as a whole. And, sometimes we even participate in shameful acts without our knowing. The fish filet above is the type of fish that often shows up as restaurant, hospital, and school fare here in America. In 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Benjamin Skinner exposed one instance of the scandal of slavery in the global fishing industry that is finding its way onto our plates, financed by our consumption. (http://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/ slavery/articles/Cruelest-Catch-E-Benjamin-Skinner_BloombergBusinessweek_Feb27-2012_withBBlogo.pdf) How have you known God’s steadfast love? What biblical examples are there of God’s love? What is it in the way you love God and others that could shame you before God? Is it also what shames you before others? Why or why not? If God’s abundant generosity of steadfast love is the measure of our shame, how do we ever begin to do likewise? How are we helped in our loving God and others?
Feb. 18th - Feb. 22nd Appendix Psalm 25 1-10   Our Shame God   s steadfast love Context  Usually paired as a lectionary re...
Feb. 23rd - March 1st Appendix Psalm 22:22-31 ~ Our remembering/God’s forgetting Context: Usually paired as a lectionary response to Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 which is a passage relating God’s covenant relationship with the offspring of Abraham and Sarah—a promise of “nations” and “kings” to come. As humans, we often give up. We make and break relationships with one another. We lose patience. We practice betrayal. We misunderstand. We move on. God doesn’t do any of that. Waiting out promises can be difficult. We remember the times “without” more than the times “with.” We remember the absence more than the presence. God does the opposite, not holding our faithlessness against us, but instead forgiving and fulfilling forever. How is God being or has God been generous in forgetting, or forgiving, your times of impatience? What stories from Scripture reveal God’s generous faithfulness in the midst of our faithlessness? Think about what increases your faithfulness, your patience in trusting God. How could you intentionally spend more time building your trust in God? What will you have to change? How is our remembering in relationship different from God’s?
Feb. 23rd - March 1st Appendix Psalm 22 22-31   Our remembering God   s forgetting Context  Usually paired as a lectionary...
March 2nd - March 8th Appendix Psalm 19 ~ Our striving/God’s comforting Context: Usually paired as a lectionary response to Exodus 20:1-17, the formative statements for the behaviors of God’s people living together in the wilderness. Humanity struggles to live together. We make claims that create conflicts. We harm one another to possess and protect. We do with one another’s lives whatever we choose, whatever seems best to our culture in our situation for the time being with little regard. We create rationales that are logical but still hurtful. This is our human striving to live peacefully together, doing no harm. God’s revelation to us through Christ is that we have tried living the law on our own, and we cannot do it; Jesus is the mediator that perfects the law that we cannot keep on our own—the New Covenant of our relationship with God. Our striving is perfected through God’s comforting Prince of Peace, Jesus. He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. In what situations have you recognized your inadequacies to get along with others? What part did you have to play in those problems? Why? What might you have done differently, especially if you would have prayed for the peace of Christ to fill you? Read verses 7-14 of the psalm over and over. Why is the Lord’s law called perfect? Why is it so valuable? What would happen if we all could follow what God established in Exodus 20:1-17 as the way for God’s people to live together? How is Jesus another saving act of the generous continuing covenant love of God? How will you join Jesus in bringing peace to your home, community, and world? How will you access Christ in the Spirit to get along with others in the world?
March 2nd - March 8th Appendix Psalm 19   Our striving God   s comforting Context  Usually paired as a lectionary response...
March 9th - March 15th Appendix Psalm 107:1-3,17-22 ~ Our ignorance/God’s wisdom Context: Usually paired as a lectionary response to Numbers 21:4-9, a wilderness story of stress, complaint, and restoration. Health, finances, relationships, and jobs are all changeable facets of lives. Chaos or crisis in any one of these areas can paralyze us, causing us to settle into despair and lose hope, to grumble in seeming ignorance of God’s steadfast love and mission to restore. God’s wisdom covers our ignorance; our complaining is covered with God’s love, eternal healing, and hope that will not fail. God will not be turned away and is always present. We are called to trust in what we cannot always see but is always there. When have you complained to God? What did you want to accomplish with your complaining? In God’s wisdom, we are loved during and beyond any complaining we could ever do. God knows the mental and emotional pain and the sickness unrelenting stress can cause within us. What do you learn from the psalm about moving beyond complaining? What pattern of prayer do you learn from the psalm?
March 9th - March 15th Appendix Psalm 107 1-3,17-22   Our ignorance God   s wisdom Context  Usually paired as a lectionary...
March 16th - March 22nd Appendix Psalm 119:9-16 ~ Our time (chronos)/God’s time (kairos) Context: Usually paired on this fifth Sunday in Lent as a lectionary response to Jeremiah 31:31-34, a reference to the new covenant, with its law of forgiveness written on the hearts of God’s people. We measure time. We count our years. We labor under time. We spend time. We lose time. We waste time. God separated the day from the night, giving us the gift of order and expectancy, work and rest in creation. However, our mortal time is not the measure of God’s time. If God 'foresaw' our acts, it would be very hard to understand how we could be free not to do them. But suppose God is outside and above the Time-line... You never supposed that your actions at this moment were any less free because God knows what you are doing. Well, He knows your tomorrow's actions in just the same way—because He is already in tomorrow and can simply watch you. In a sense, He does not know your action till you have done it: but the moment at which you have done it is already 'NOW' for Him. ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity What is the difference in the purpose of living a life with Christ and living a life without Christ? How are you succeeding and failing at living your life in Christ? Why? How could you turn your life, your every day living moment-by-moment, more toward a distinct life lived with the “new covenant,” Christ, written on your heart? What would it take to sustain such a turn? Who could offer you accountability? Submission to God’s time, eternity, rearranges everything in our lives. How can you begin to think about your life as being subsumed in God’s time and God’s will? What will need to change?
March 16th - March 22nd Appendix Psalm 119 9-16   Our time  chronos  God   s time  kairos  Context  Usually paired on this...
March 23rd - March 29th Appendix Psalm 118:1-9,19-29 ~ Our mortality/God’s eternity Context: In the lectionary, the psalm is a foreshadowing of God’s saving act in Christ; God’s new covenant is not made of stone but of mortal flesh, and the lectionary uses the psalm as a complement to Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16. As a result of God’s revelatory act of entering humanity with us, we Christians fixate on Jesus. We study his life, his death, and his words because who he was and what he did affects us personally. Easter becomes the day we celebrate God’s gift of life because of what it means to us personally: eternal life for the ones we love and for us. We get something out of Jesus, so we celebrate our big win. What, though, is God doing through Christ beginning with this Palm Sunday? What in the steadfast love of God is happening? Remember God’s covenant relationship with us: -From the perfect garden with Adam and Eve to the desert wilderness of sinful humanity and the arrival of death -To the rainbow as a symbol after the great flood -To the nations of offspring through Abraham -To the assembly of a worshiping people in the wilderness -To the New Covenant of Christ. God’s steadfast love has been faithful and progressive, on the move through all created history to restore all of creation to its intended glory of perfectly reflecting and glorifying the Maker. It is a win for God and so, too, for all of creation! Jesus is the light that shines on God’s ongoing and eternally growing love for us. God made a way for us to be free from sin so that we in our impurities, our failures to succeed in keeping God’s law, could approach God. Otherwise, God’s holiness or God’s purity is totally other than we are. Jesus, both mortal and eternal, perfects our prayers, our worship, and our lives such that they are pleasing and presentable to God, forever. What meaning does this psalm have for you in light of God’s plan to restore all of creation? How might your celebration of Holy Week be different because of this revelation?
March 23rd - March 29th Appendix Psalm 118 1-9,19-29   Our mortality God   s eternity Context  In the lectionary, the psal...
March 30th - April 5th Appendix Psalm 118:1-2,14-24 ~ Our expressions of thanks/ God’s life-changing victory Context: This psalm in the lectionary for Easter Sunday can be paired with Isaiah 25:6-9 as well as Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8. Read the entirety of the psalm. Now, take time to re-read verses 17-18. What do you realize? What should this revelation lead to in your life? How about during this Holy Week? [Additional Holy Week scriptures are included in the Appendices. Be in the week with Jesus!] Of what purpose is the worshiping community to God as people of this experience with God? Read Revelation 5:1-14. Each time you worship with the assembled people of God, can you believe that you are joining that heavenly on-going worship? Can you remember and embrace the reality of God’s presence made available to us in the presence of Christ that is real in our corporate worship through the Holy Spirit (Mt. 18:20)? If Worship is a Holy Conversation, a Spiritual Exchange, Instead of a Program or an Event of the church, what Changes? God’s steadfast covenant love revealed through Scripture, in song, in sermon, in hospitality at the table, and in the commitment of our lives to God and to one another in the water of baptism is God speaking to us. Through each worship act, God speaks and then waits for our response. Our responses in worship with our words, our songs, our prayers, our transformation, and our commitment to God’s justice are ways we speak back to God. Each Sunday until Jesus comes again as a testimony and witness, God speaks and we corporately express our continuing commitment, praise, and thanksgiving; this is our side of the covenant, a weekly renewal of our trust, our faith, and our long obedience, established for knowing ourselves and knowing God in real time, real presence, and real trust.
March 30th - April 5th Appendix Psalm 118 1-2,14-24   Our expressions of thanks  God   s life-changing victory Context  Th...
Twitter, Instagram Facebook Spend time each day with the scripture, questions, and the contrasting words about us and God. Take pictures that speak to you and post to each of the social media platforms using the #FBCLent15, the hashtags below for each day, and tagging the church Facebook page. We looking forward to walking along side one another as we walk with God this lenten season. February 18th-February 22nd~Psalm 25:1-10~Our shame/God’s steadfast love #ourshameFBCLent15 and #GodssteadfastloveFBCLent15 February 23rd-March 1st~Psalm 22:22-31~Our remembering/God’s forgetting #ourremeberingFBCLent15 and #GodsforgettingFBCLent15 March 2nd-March 8th~Psalm 19~Our striving/God’s comforting #ourstrivingFBCLent15 and #GodscomfortingFBCLent15 March 9th-March 15th~Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22~Our ignorance/God’s wisdom #ourignoranceFBCLent15 and #GodswisdomFBCLent15 March 16th-March 22nd~Psalm 119:9-16~Our time (chronos)/God’s time (kairos) #ourtimeFBCLent15 and #GodstimeFBCLent15 March 23rd-March 29th~Psalm 118:1-9, 19-29~Our mortality/God’s eternity #ourmortalityFBCLent15 and #GodseternityFBCLent15 March 30th-April 5th~Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24~Our expressions of thanks/God’s life- changing victory #ourthanksFBCLent15 and #GodsvictoryFBCLent15
Twitter, Instagram Facebook Spend time each day with the scripture, questions, and the contrasting words about us and God....
Lent 2015 Wednesday Thursday 18 FEBRUARY 19 ASH WEDNESDAY Sunday 22 Monday 23 24 Write a prayer to God from your heart today. Call someone you have not spoken with in some time. 1 MARCH 2 3 Fast from your favorite snack or hobby for the entire day. Daily Lenten devotions available at www.d365.org 20 Do a chore around your home, apartment, or dorm that you normally don’t do. Saturday 21 Do some yard work for your family and neighbors for free! Tuesday Read and write your reflections on Mark 1:9–15. Read and write your reflections on Mark 9:2–9. Don’t text today. Try to make voice contact with others throughout your day. Friday Spend at least 30 minutes with someone under the age of 8 or over 60. 25 Pray for your church family today. 4 Pray for your school or where you work today. 26 27 28 Do something you have been putting off or trying to avoid. Go for a walk where you live and pick up trash. Exercise for at least one hour today. 5 6 7 Ask a church staff member how you can pray for them today. Slow down and do everything deliberately (drive, walk, talk, and eat slowly). Fast from coffee, tea, or soda today.
Lent 2015 Wednesday  Thursday  18 FEBRUARY 19 ASH WEDNESDAY  Sunday  22  Monday  23  24  Write a prayer to God from your h...
Sunday 8 Read and write your reflections on John 2:13–22. Monday 9 Pray the Lord’s Prayer slowly today at 9 a.m., Noon, and 3 p.m. 15 16 Read and write your reflections on John 3:14–21. Ask your boss, supervisor, or teacher what their most pressing needs are today. Pray for them today. 22 23 Read and write your reflections on John 12:2–33. 29 Read and write your reflections on John 12:12–16. Don’t use sarcasm today. Spend the day encouraging those around you. 30 Place random encouraging notes around your home for others to see. Tuesday 10 Watch or read the news today and pray about what you discover. 17 Go for a walk today and pray for anyone you see. 24 Carry a list of things that you are thankful for with you all day. 31 Call to speak with someone whom you love. Tell them what you love about them. Wednesday 11 Pray for friends where you go to school or work today. 18 Pray for each of your immediate family members. 25 Pray for yourself today. Thursday Friday Saturday 12 13 14 Fast from technology today (TV, computer, video games, music, phones) that isn’t necessary for school or work. Prepare a meal with a family member, friend, or roommate. Eat together and discuss your day. Choose one person and pray for them three times today. 19 20 21 Have a conversation today with someone with whom you wouldn’t normally speak. Send a hand-written note to someone that could use some encouragement. 27 28 Fast from the radio or music in the car. Spend time talking to God or with friends and family. 26 Have a conversation or do something thoughtful for someone today. Fast from social media today (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). 1 APRIL 2 3 Volunteer to help someone with a difficult task today. Pray before and after you eat each meal today. Spend ten minutes in silence remembering Jesus’s death. Don’t eat out today. Give the money you would have spent to someone who needs it. 4 Spend the entire evening with people you love. Written by David Haun, Fredericksburg Baptist Church, Fredericksburg, Virginia. © 2015 by Passport Media. (www.passportmedia.org) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Sunday  8 Read and write your reflections on John 2 13   22.  Monday  9 Pray the Lord   s Prayer slowly today at 9 a.m., N...
for Children and Families Our shame/God’s steadfast love Psalm 25:1-10 Even when we do the wrong thing and feel ashamed, God loves us. God’s love is steadfast which means it never stops. Think about a time you felt ashamed of something you did. Now think about God loving you anyway. What is God’s love like? Think of some ways you know God’s love. Write in a journal or draw a picture about your feelings. Our remembering/God’s forgetting Psalm 22:22-31 Holding a grudge against someone means keeping anger in our heart that makes it difficult to love one another. Sometimes we have trouble forgetting and forgiving when others hurt us but God generously forgives us again and again. Think about time when you had a hard time forgiving someone. Now think about a time when you were offered forgiveness. How is God’s forgiveness different than ours? Ask God to help you forgive others as God does. Write in a journal or draw a picture about your feelings. Our striving/ God’s comforting Psalm 19 Getting along with others isn’t always easy. Even when we try really hard we still argue and hurt one another. God accepts us even when we fail. Jesus does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Think about a time when you had a hard time getting along with someone. Now think about how much God loves you and the other person. What part did you play in the problem? How will you allow God to bring peace to the world through you? Practice bringing God’s peace to others this week.
for Children and Families Our shame God   s steadfast love Psalm 25 1-10 Even when we do the wrong thing and feel ashamed,...
for Children and Families Our ignorance/God’s wisdom Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 Do your parents ever ask you to stop complaining? Have you ever complained to God? Sometimes complaining makes it hard to see the good things happening in life because we focus on the difficult things. God is always there, even when we complain, and wants us to always trust in God’s goodness. Think about a time when something was difficult. Did you complain about it? Did complaining help the situation? Did you pray about it? Could your complaints to God be different if you remembered God’s wisdom for what you need? Pray more and trust in God more. Our time/God’s time Psalm 119:9-16 Sometimes we are impatient and want things to happen in our own time. We want a prayer answered immediately or we want God to solve our problems fast. Although God does answer our prayers things aren’t always the way we hope or in the time frame we want. Think about a time you wanted something and it didn’t happen right away. Do you know God was listening and working even if you didn’t get what you wanted? What would it be like if we trusted God’s timing instead of our own? Practice patience with God and others. Our mortality/God’s eternity Psalm 118:1-9, 19-29 God created us with an earthly beginning and ending, but God also gives us life forever through Jesus. God made it possible for all things to become good and perfect and holy through Jesus who sets us free from sin. Think about what it means to follow Jesus. What does it look like to be a follower of Jesus? Can you think of people you know who are following Jesus? Write in a journal or draw a picture about what you are feeling. Our expression of thanks/ God’s life-changing victory Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24 When we come together for worship at church, we meet God. God changes our lives through love and grace and we are thankful! Think about what it means to be thankful. What is it like to always be thankful for God’s constant love? What if every Sunday were celebrated like Easter Sunday?! Spend time this week thanking God; get excited about God’s good gifts!
for Children and Families Our ignorance God   s wisdom Psalm 107 1-3, 17-22 Do your parents ever ask you to stop complaini...
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again— this is the gospel of the Holy Week and Easter experiences! Come, converse with the real presence of the triune God in worship! Lent the Roots 2015 Watering
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again    this is the gospel of the Holy Week and Easter experiences  C...