Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

(extinguish candles)

The darkness asks us questions.
You are out there and we do not see.
You invite us into the night,
the stillness, the loneliness, the desert place.

We cannot see our shadow;
the cold damp of unknowing rises up from beneath our feet.
We tread cautiously, tentatively.

We are afraid,
afraid of ghosts
haunting us with spectres of guilt
and shame.

We would like to run back,
reach the river bank,
swim the Jordan,
sit in the sun by the sea,
mending our nets.
But you have brought us here
- with no bread.

When we look we can see only ourselves,
our darkness.
When we read,
it is invisible words which cannot be grasped,
thoughts we cannot clutch,
hope we cannot capture.

Yet the wild honey remains a taste in our mouth,
a memory for a new day.

Why have you brought us here?
What miracle will you perform for us?

The darkness sighs around us,
dense with your unseen presence,
close to our breathing,
close to our breathing.

O darkness, enlighten us,
embrace us with your invisible love.
Let us see your glory in the ashes.
Take us by the hand that we may trust the darkness.
Minister to us by your Spirit that we may not be afraid.
Jesus, keep the beasts away.


(light candles)

prepared by William Loader, 15 February 1999


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lent 2011

It's Fat Tuesday! Which of course means tomorrow is the beginning of Lent.

You know that's funny! In all seriousness, I've spent the last week really thinking about what I'm going to "give up" this year. Here are some of people's top choices:

This year I've decided to give up:

1. Fast Food - Which really means no french fries! (my kryptonite!) I'll be giving the money I would normally spend to a good cause!
2.Television (2 days a week) - I'm planning on living television free 2 days a week.

I've also been attempting to memorize Romans chapter 8, and want to really focus on doing that during the next 40 days. Right now I have the first 10 verses memorized. Let's see how much more I can get done during Lent.

For me Lent is about remembering one of the toughest things Jesus ever said -

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

It's so simple, yet so HARD! If we say we are followers of Christ, we must do these three things:

1. Deny Ourselves -This means laying down our own desires, wants and needs. In a culture where it's so easy to indulge ourselves in whatever we want, this can be tough!

2. Take Up Our Cross - Jesus took up his cross when he was on his way to Calvary to die. Do you get that He's asking us to do the same? To take up our cross and get ready to go die. Not physically, but it's more the death of self. More of Christ, less of me. As I become more and more like Christ. More of my selfish ways start to diminish and die.

3. Follow Christ - That means he's leading and I'm following. Period.

24-7 Prayer has a great tool to use during lent. Go Check it out!