Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:13 #GratefulLent
Lent, a time of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, self-denial and self-examination. What is God calling me to do this Lent and how will I observe a Holy Lent?
Thursday, February 19
I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done...Titus 1:5 #GratefulLent #UTOBlueBox
Paul left Titus with a half-finished job in Crete, then gave him ideas about who could finish it. Are you one who will finish the work?
Friday, February 20
“If you observe the Law, He will love you, bless you, and multiply you.” – Deut. 7:13 #GratefulLent
Daily we are called to walk in love but in Lent we’re asked to deepen our journey…How will you observe a sacred Lent, how will it bless you?
Saturday, February 21
This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:6-7 #gratefullent
God’s grace reached out to you, and in your salvation you are being set aside, made holy to be living testimonies to God’s love.
Sunday, February 22
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy Name. Psalm 103:1 #GratefulLent
Each moment is a gift from God… How will I bless the Lord today in all that I do?
Monday, February 23
And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” John 2: 4
Jesus’ first miracle, water into wine, but he’s less than polite to his mother’s nudge. How close is a rude response to a parent sin?
Tuesday, February 24
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” – Heb. 3:7a-8b #GratefulLent
God speaks in many ways that are often easy to ignore…are you willing to start listening in new ways?
Wednesday, February 25
Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Christ,
God pours the Spirit upon us not to save us from the evils of others, but to save us from the discord and malice that is of our own making.
Thursday, February 26
I prayed to the Lord and said, "Lord God, do not destroy the people who are your very own possession, whom you redeemed in your greatness, whom you brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Deuteronomy 9:26 #GratefulLent
This Lent will we, like Moses, pray for those who have disappointed or injured us, asking God to bless them?
Friday, February 27
Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever. Psalm 40: 11
David just talks to God. What a model! God is there; He listens, and is not immune to my call. Sometimes I make prayer so difficult!
Saturday, February 28
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes may not perish but may have eternal life.” – Jn 3:16
We are signs of Christ’s love in the world. What would you give up for the love of others?
Sunday, March 1
He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. Mark 3:2-3 #gratefullent
Is your heart like a frozen field in winter, or like a spring garden, bursting with young life? Is your soul fertile enough for the Word?
Monday, March 2
…stand against the whole land — against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1: 17-19 #GratefulLent
Do I stand up for what is right and just, believing that God is with me?
Tuesday, March 3
The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. John 4:53
Jesus impressed people for what he did, not who he was. If that happened to Jesus, what chance do I have?
Wednesday, March 4
“…for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” – Rom 2:1 #GratefulLent
What if we stopped judging and were gentler on others and ourselves? Remember, God made us to be signs of God’s love.
Thursday, March 5
They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; Romans 2:15 #gratefullent
God requires that we love all that God loves, that we are merciful to each other, and that we walk humbly, and daily, with our God.
Friday, March 6
If you can find but one person who acts justly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. Jeremiah 5: 1 #GratefulLent
As Christians we called to act justly and seek the truth. What just actions will I take and will I boldly speak God’s truth?
Saturday, March 7
The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, “Where is he?” John 7:11
Jesus is being hunted, but his brothers don’t get it, so they push him to travel into trouble. Ever pushed someone with disastrous results?
Sunday, March 8
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or on the earth... -Ex. 20:2 #GratefulLent
What things/idols are creating a barrier between you and God…is it time to rid yourself of them?
Monday, March 9
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. Jeremiah 7:3 #gratefullent
Righteousness cannot be wrested from God. It is received with grateful hands that have opened themselves to care for all whom God loves.
Tuesday, March 10
Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. Jeremiah 7:23-24 #GratefulLent
What behaviors do I cling to that keep me from God: Control issues, addictions, nursing wounds and injustices or a pointless search for worthless things? Will I open my heart to the healing touch of Jesus this Lent?
Wednesday, March 11
Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand. Romans 5:1-2
What’s God grace? No matter how badly we act, God sees our better selves, loves us, yet we do nothing to deserve it. That’s grace.
Thursday, March 12
But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more… Rom. 5:20 #GratefulLent
It’s easy to forget during difficult times that God is showering us with grace. Can you notice the good growing out of the pain in your life, in our world?
Friday, March 13
I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.’ John 8:38 #gratefullent
God’s voice is echoing through each life on earth, calling all to God’s-self. How have you heard this voice?
Saturday, March 14
…present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. Romans 6:12 1 #GratefulLent
Week after week in the Eucharist we declare our intention to present “ourselves, our souls, our bodies” in gratefulness to God. This Lent will I make myself available to God to use as an instrument of healing?
Sunday, March 15
And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side. Mark 8:12-13
While the disciples bicker over who forgot to pack lunch, Jesus , wearied by so many demands, has to get away for a while for some quiet.
Monday, March 16
“Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them…as much as they wanted.” – Jn. 6:1-15 #GratefulLent
When have you been surprised by God’s abundance, how did you respond?
Tuesday, March 17
And people shall come from the towns of Judah and the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the Shephelah, from the hill country, and from the Negeb, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. Jeremiah 17: 26 #gratefullent
What is your daily offering to God? Where are you making a sacrifice of thanksgiving in your life?
Wednesday, March 18
Thus says the Lord: …Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings. Jeremiah 18: 11 #GratefulLent
What is evil to God? At the top of God’s list seems to be lack of justice, righteousness and kindness. As a nation, a community and an individual what evils do we persist in doing and how is God calling us to repent and change?
Thursday, March 19
No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. John 6:44
People are drawn to goodness. We can’t brow beat someone into believing. Relax, live a life that attracts believers.
Friday, March 20
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” – Rom. 8:28 #GratefulLent
Sometimes it is the fruit that is born out of struggle that is the most important. What things in your life are you grateful were transformed from struggle to success?
Saturday, March 21
…it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. Romans 9:8 #gratefullent
We are bound to God in a dance of love where God extends grace to all, and we respond with faith, joy and thankfulness.
Sunday, March 22
Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24 #GratefulLent
HeIp me, God, to die to self and become more Christ-like. In doing so, may I bear much fruit of the spirit for your sake.
Monday, March 23
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” John 9: 3
People born with special needs aren’t punishment from God. They are gifts of a different sort to their families. Jesus taught us that.
Tuesday, March 24
“For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” – Rom. 10:13 #GratefulLent
Everyone needs help but sometimes we need to set aside our pride to ask for it. Is it time to ask God for help?
Wednesday, March 25
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. John 10:10b #gratefullent
Abundance isn’t found in our things, but in the depth and richness of our relationships with each other and with the incarnate God.
Thursday, March 26
Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord; speak to them all the words that I command you; do not hold back a word. Jeremiah 26:2 #GratefulLent
Jeremiah was a prophet. The Christian tradition knows the prophetic tradition most fully in Jesus Christ. As follows of Jesus, we are heirs of this tradition. How is God calling me to speak prophetic words of justice and truth to those I know?
Friday, March 27
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
Pray daily, love the ones you live with, and leave the rest up to God. This was Father Howard’s simple Rule of Life and has become mine.
Saturday, March 28
“…for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” – Rom. 11:29 #GratefulLent
Do you know that feeling in your gut when you know that you should be doing/saying something? It might be the gifts God gave you yearning to be used…how will you let God use you?
Sunday, March 29
Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1st Timothy 6:12 #gratefullent
The world needs to witness our lives of confession, our walking on the Way. As we journey, it is our work to invite others to join us.
Monday, March 30
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, from the prison those who sit in darkness. Isaiah 42:6-6 #GratefulLent
This Holy week I will recommit myself to being an agent of God’s love and reconciliation in the world so that I may minister to those in need of healing and hope.
Tuesday, March 31
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Phil. 3:17 -18
Pep talks! We need them. They keep us on track. Often they emphasize that no goal worth achieving is an easy street. But this hard?
Wednesday, April 1
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 #GratefulLent
As dwell in Holy Week, where have you found strength from Christ to act, where do you hope Christ will strengthen you to act in the weeks and months ahead?
Maundy Thursday, April 2
For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. John 13:15 #GratefulLent
By washing the disciples’ feet Jesus demonstrates that our ministry is to be about serving others. How and to whom is Jesus calling me to serve?
Friday, April 3
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times. John 13:38
Don’t intellectualize today. Let yourself feel the horror, the pain and the fear. It is only way to appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice.
Holy Saturday, April 4
We don’t have a leader who is unable to sympathize; we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are. Heb. 4:15 #GratefulLent
On this Holy Saturday, we invite you to turn over every burden in your heart to Jesus so that you may receive the grace that is freely offered to you in order to be fully resurrected with Christ tomorrow.
Easter Sunday, April 5
Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. John 20: 19b-20 #gratefullent
Christ is risen! Behold the resurrected body around and within you. See the wounds that no longer bleed, and a life that death cannot stop.