Lenten Devotional Series

Welcome to First Church's Daily Lenten Devotional Series.  These devotions were submitted by Church members and are published daily so we can start each day together. Thank you all for your submissions, your meditations, and your prayers as we journeyed together with our Lord.

(Click on any devotion below to read)


Surmounting

Holy Saturday, March 30, 2013 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, "Not from the art of dying but from the resurrection of Christ can a new, purifying wind blow into the present world. -- [ more ]


Looking Through the Church Window

Good Friday, March 29, 2013 -- Past that to some kind of resolve, For a day, a week, a month. Strength for what's beyond the glass, My God is not fearful... [ more ]


I Don't Want To

Maundy Thursday, March 28, 2013 --  I don't want to, you can't make me...Stay in the Yard...Settle down...Stay on the path...Listen to what I'm saying...Do as you are told... [ more ]


Onward, Onward

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 -- Onward, onward, looking unto Jesus, Pressing forward, we the race will run; Claiming ever His divine protection, We shall not fail till the crown is won.... [ more ]


We Would See Jesus

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 -- We would see Jesus; in realms of the blessèd, Some day before Him the ransomed shall stand, Seeing His face in its glorious beauty, Wearing a crown in that paradise land... [ more ]


Loving the Least

Monday, March 25, 2013-- Holy Week.  I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon...more ]


Touching the Body of Christ

Saturday, March 23, 2013 -- I believe that we are not real social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people. But we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the body of Christ 24 hours a day. We have 24 hours in his presence. [ more ]


Why I Go to Church

Friday, March 22, 2013 -- Why I go to Church: To kill an hour or so on a Sunday; Probably not. To get dressed up and be seen; Probably not. To clear my head and recapture memories; Probably so. To find a time to be at peace; Probably so... [ more ]


The Spirit of God Calms My Mind

Thursday, March 21, 2013 -- The spirit of God calms my mind. I radiate peace. How can I manage to live in a busy world and still remain calm? I can do so through prayer-- by centering myself in the peace of God. Daily communion with God keeps me grounded in peace. Through prayer, I make conscious contact .. [ more ]


Only Love Can Drive Out Hate

Wednesday, March 20, 2013  -- The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. … Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, [ more ]


Release Me From Judgment

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 -- Dear God, I surrender to You my thought of judgment. Please heal me of my temptation to blame Your children whom You adore.  Teach me to love as You do. Teach me to see the reality behind the superficial masks, the truth in the hearts of all Your children... [ more ]


Cardinal Newman

Monday, March 18, 2013 -- May he support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work ... [ more ]


Go Placidly

Saturday, March 16, 2013 -- Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence... [ more ]


I Am Separated

Friday, March 15, 2013 -- I am separated from the real world by a pane of glass...What my parents taught me, When I listened to my friends, Could create canyons, How we see religion, Who you vote for Or what you wear, The way you do your hair, My God, shall we mention skin... [ more ]


A Prayer for Humanity

Thursday, March 14, 2013 -- God, you too have a dream. You dream that we your human creatures will come to realize that you created us for community, for togetherness, for friendship, for gentleness, for caring, for sharing, for family; that we are members of one family, the human family, God's family ... [ more ]


Thirsting for God

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 -- You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water... [ more ]


The Peace of Wild Things

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 -- When despair grows in me and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound, in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and... [ more ]


Prayer for Illumination

Monday, March 11, 2013 -- Gracious and Loving God, thank you for this new day, its beauty and its light. Today, I rededicate myself to you and open fully to receive your Holy Spirit. As I go out into this world today, may your Spirit go with me. Direct my footsteps, dear God, that I might become a more faithful disciple of your Good News... [ more ]


The Spirit of Aloha

Saturday, March 9, 2013 -- The spirit of aloha is a way of life and well-being embraced by native Hawaiians for hundreds of years. Traditionally the word aloha was a greeting reserved for loved ones by rubbing noses and then inhaling each other's breath (alo = in the presence of, ha = breath of life). To live with aloha is the secret to [ more ]


How Well It's Hidden

Friday, March 8, 2013 -- How well it’s hidden; A gentle mist reveals only an outline – Moving toward it chases it away... [ more ]


Good is the Flesh that the Word has Become

Thursday, March 7, 2013 -- Good is the flesh that the Word has become, good is the birthing, the milk in the breast,  good is the feeding, caressing and rest, good is the body for knowing the world, Good is the flesh that the Word has become ... [ more ]


"We Fall Down, But We Get Up" Song

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 -- "We fall down, but we get up. We fall down, but we get up. We fall down, but we get up! For a saint is just a sinner who fell down, and got up!" Lyrics to a song I knew through Gerald Albright on jazz saxophone, sung here by Donnie McClurkin: ... [ more ]


Celestial Guesswork

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 -- "Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight." Isaiah 65:18  "Joy isn't always easy to come by, Lord, but in you I desire to rejoice..." [ more ]


William's Sermon

Monday, March 4, 2013 -- Rev. John Minder, the college dean, was a big man, ginger-haired and concerned for his students. But he had his hands full with William. On the day William arrived, he took out a big scout knife, played around with it, and took off running all over the adjacent golf course like an overgrown schoolboy. Shortly thereafter he and his roommate went canoeing in their best clothes on a Sunday afternoon ... [ more ]


“Be Ye Glad” by the Christian Acapella group GLAD

Saturday, March 2, 2013 -- This version of the song is amazing and the message so wonderful.  It’s been one of my favorites for years, and having heard it recently after all the crisis in Japan it’s even more powerful... [ more ]


Hands

Friday, March 1, 2013 -- Hands, tiny miniatures reach aimlessly in the air...Hands telling you when the rain is coming...Hands quiet in the night... [ more ]


Fasting

Thursday, February 28, 2013 -- "Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins."... Isaiah 58. This chapter came instantly alive for me when I heard it read at... [ more ]


Thomas Merton

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 -- Thomas Merton wrote, "I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me...the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe..." [ more ]


Choose Life

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 -- "Choose life so that you and your descendants may live"... Deuteronomy 30:19. Henri J. M. Nouwen writes, "Life is always small.  It is always vulnerable.  It never shouts or screams.  It always needs protection and guidance.  Saying "yes" to it means being willing to look at the small life that seeks to be born in your heart, in your body, in your mind, among people... [ more ]


The Gospel of Ernest (part 3)

Monday,  February 25, 2013 -- From the Gospel of Ernest, "May God bless you in the twists and turns of your own journey, blessing you with broader vistas of truth and deeper discernment of life’s meaning..." [ more ]


Thousands of Candles from One Light

Saturday, February 23, 2013 -- "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared" ... [ more ]


Friendship

Friday, February 22, 2013 -- Friendships are easy when we're young. It's a simple declaration amongst playmates. We have fun together, we share. Maybe backgrounds are different. But we enjoy each others company. The commitment is nothing more. Than inclusion and widening your world ... [ more ]


Hosanna!

Thursday, February 21, 2013 -- Hosanna!   "Here at the gates of Jerusalem were exclamation points.  One of the greatest journeys anyone can ever make is the journey from a question mark to an exclamation point.  From a question mark about Jesus to an exclamation point about him, from a..." [ more ]


The Gospel of Ernest (part 2)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 -- "The choice is ours.  We can disbelieve in God because of evil, or we can believe in her because of good and because of faith that, somehow, all things ultimately work together for good according to her purpose..." [ more ]


The Twenty Third Psalm

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 -- The Great Father above is a wonderful Shepherd Chief. I am his, and with him I want not. He throws out to me a rope  and the name of the rope is love, and he draws me to where the grass is green and the water is not dangerous... [ more ]


Simplicity

Monday, February 18, 2013 -- Katrina Kenison writes, "In simplicity there is freedom..." [ more ]


The Gospel of Ernest

Saturday, February 16, 2013 -- From the Gospel of Ernest, "The starting point of our journey is the desire to love and be loved not only in but beyond this world..."   [ more ]


Pretzels

Friday, February 15, 2013 -- Matthew 6:5-12. Did you know that pretzels began as a Lenten food? Many early Christians in the Roman Empire did not eat milk, eggs, or fat during Lent as a way of showing religious devotion. Bread was an important part of their diet so they learned... [ more ]


Loss and Gain

Thursday, February 14, 2013 -- Then Jesus said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it." Luke 9:23-24.  "Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it..." [ more ]


Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013 -- "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10  For most of my life, I started my Lenten journey with Psalm 51, and after trying to "clean" my heart I spent my Lenten journey finding ways to fill it... [ more ]





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