"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34)
Walking on this Lenten journey is a choice, a choice we make everyday. But, when we give it thought, it is God who has provided the journey for us. We can walk together because God has given us the path in the life of the Word made Flesh. Think about that. It is God’s great desire to gather up all of us, like "a hen gathers her brood." Isn’t it amazing to realize that we walk this journey together because we are so loved by God? Come, let us journey together…
This Week's Breath Prayer: "Teach me your way, Lord."
A DEVOTION FROM SARA GRAHAM-RODGERS
A Singing Prayer for Meditation
May my eyes be open to see the path before me.
May the way be clear.
May my feet be quick to walk the path before me.
May the way be clear.
May my spirit know the path within me.
May the way be clear and eyes be open.
- Anasazi "Clear Eyes Chant"
A DEVOTION FROM FRIEDA DUTTON
My Fear Was Gone
I have had what I would describe as a God moment or the presence of God a number of times, but there is one particular occasion that I really needed it and I thank Pastor Bill Tice for that. About three years ago I had back surgery. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared. On the day of the surgery, Pastor Bill came to the hospital to pray with me. He read Matthew, Chapter 11, verses 28 and 29, and told me when I was being wheeled to the operating room to remember I was yoked with Jesus. I don’t recall if he knew when he left that my surgery was being delayed two hours, but that gave me more time to contemplate what I was going to go through. As they were finally wheeling me to the operating room, I started thinking about what Pastor Bill had told me – that I was yoked to Jesus. I experienced a level of peace that I never felt before, and I knew that Jesus,
My Savior was going to be with me during my surgery. My fear was gone. As we go through trials and tribulations, it is comforting to know we are not alone – our Mighty God
is present and knows exactly what we are going through.
A DEVOTION FROM MARYANN BEURKET
A few years ago, I took a weekly class for three months about mindfulness. I was attempting to learn how to live in the moment and be present. I wanted to stop looking into the future and worrying about things that might not even come to fruition. I was tired of all the stress and anxiety that comes from wondering "what if?". So, I began to practice meditation which helped me to relax and focus on the tasks and situations at hand.
More often than not I would lose my concentration and slip back into my old habit of thinking too far ahead. But then I recalled this scripture from the Bible. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own." (Matthew 6:34)
So whenever I drift away from being present and living in the moment, I repeat this passage to myself, which helps guide me back into the here and now.
A DEVOTION FROM CLARENCE SMITH
My Mother’s Cross
Many years ago, I gave my mother a small cross. It was made of two gold bars bent at a
rounded 90 degrees, with a diamond chip in the middle. She wore it almost all the time. The cross brings back many memories of my mother and her role in my life. It was my contact with Pastor Bill, when he was visiting my mother, that brought me to Milford First.
The cross is a religious symbol by itself, but I found deeper meaning in this cross. The bent bars remind me that most of the people God has used have been bent, tarnished, broken, old or disparaged. Even Jesus came into the world with a cloud over him. When I feel I am under stress (heat and pressure) of everyday life, I am reminded that God used these to produce beautiful things in us just like the diamond. In the purity and brilliance of the diamond I see the pure, beautiful life of Jesus. The precious metal reminds me of the precious gift of grace and salvation we can receive through Jesus.
A DEVOTION FROM KATHY MCCURDY
Every morning when I open my eyes I whisper "thank you." I thank God for giving me another day. I find great comfort in knowing that he needs me and that I still have work to do. I try to be conscious of that work as I go through my day: seeing and respecting our beautiful Mother Earth; learning about love from those around me, especially through the eyes and laughter of my grandchildren.
At the end of each day, I ask myself, "Did I make someone smile today? Did I help someone who needed help? Did I use my life to the best of my ability?"
Most days I look back and realize that God talks to me all day, every day, and then gives me a wink when I say "thank you."