Lenten Devotional for Wednesday February 27, 2013

Lectionary readings for today:

Morning: Ps. 5; 147:1-11

Jer. 3:6-18

Rom. 1:(26-27) 28-2:11

John 5:1-18

Evening: Ps. 27; 51

We will be reading highlights of Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome over the next several days. Paul developed (probably over a significant amount of time) his “calling” as a follower of Jesus. For him, Jesus came to “redeem those under the [Hebrew] Law,” which he considered the first phase of God’s great plan to save the world. Paul saw his mission as being God’s “instrument” to do “phase two,” reaching out to the non-Jews.

Paul knew his purpose. And he was as passionate about carrying it out as he was in torturing and killing Christians in order to preserve his view of Judaism earlier in his life. His dedication led him into suffering and many trials, across deserts and seas, to foreign lands. You gotta give him credit.

Each of us has a “calling.” Maybe a few of them. Balancing these ‘calls’ is a challenge for each of us. The jumble of requests and needs can not only exhaust us, but throw us off-center, off-focus. And that can get us sick, physically, and “lost” spiritually.

The gift of Lent is this season of pause; of taking a breath; of looking sincerely at our lives; facing the chaos, anxiety, and pain in our lives; and listening in the quietness for the direction of the Spirit.

I find that it is difficult to make time to do the things that will re-set my life. But when I show up for Wednesday “Prayer Around the Cross,” I find that I relish the quiet, the companionship, the prayer. And things return to focus. Such a gift!

buddham saranam gacchami

As you walk this season’s journey through Lent to the Cross and the empty tomb, I encourage you to pause, listen, rest and renew.

Send your Guiding Spirit upon me. Fill me with Christ’s peace. Light the way forward so that I may love and serve you and those you love.

——

Rob Stewart

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