Sacred

What is sacred to you? Are there actions, behaviors, or things that you categorize as sacred and untouchable?

Things that people find sacred include marriage vows, children, sabbath practices, the language we use when we speak of God…we can attach holiness to any number of things. When we hold something as “sacred” we indicate its value and the prominence it takes in our lives.

The temple in Jerusalem was sacred to Jesus. It was his father’s house. It was a house of worship. It was a place where God resided. It was not to be violated or used for any other purpose than the worship of God.

John 2 (Contemporary English Version)

13 Not long before the Jewish festival of Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 There he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves in the temple. He also saw moneychangers sitting at their tables. 15 So he took some rope and made a whip. Then he chased everyone out of the temple, together with their sheep and cattle. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins.

16 Jesus said to the people who had been selling doves, “Get those doves out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace.”

I remember a story that a former colleague once told of watching someone violate the sanctity of his church. It was at the end of a wedding, when people were still milling around the sanctuary waiting for pictures to be taken. (As a side note, I must confess that pastors often struggle with weddings and how they can become mere commercial venues for folks who have no notion of the sacredness of the space.) Such was the case that day, and my friend watched in horror as the father of the bride strode up the steps to the altar and lit a cigarette from the Christ candle. I haven’t seen this friend for over a decade, but I bet he still tells that story with the same sense of revulsion he felt when he observed it the first time.

Jesus felt the same revulsion at the loan sharks and money changers who charged exorbitant rates to lend money to people so they could buy overpriced animals for slaughter in the house that he loved. His actions that day remind us that we don’t have to put up with such violations in our sacred spots, whether they are physical locations or places in our hearts and minds. If someone is violating your spirit with their inappropriate words or behavior, throw them out of your life.

17 The disciples then remembered that the Scriptures say, “My love for your house burns in me like a fire.”

18 The Jewish leaders asked Jesus, “What miracle will you work to show us why you have done this?”

19 “Destroy this temple,” Jesus answered, “and in three days I will build it again!”

20 The leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple. What makes you think you can rebuild it in three days?”

21 But Jesus was talking about his body as a temple. 22 And when he was raised from death, his disciples remembered what he had told them. Then they believed the Scriptures and the words of Jesus.

This last part reminds us that even in his zeal to rid the temple of the merchants, Jesus ultimately acknowledges that he is the true temple. He is our church. He is our sacristy. He is our altar. Even after a temporary tear-down, he was rebuilt and raised from the dead. His words and his sacredness can never be defiled!

No matter what we build with our hands, the House of Jesus lasts forever.

Sacred Space by Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church

The Big Ten

No, this isn’t about football, although your girl here is a fan of her college team, which happens to be in the Big Ten…which has fourteen colleges in it. Strange math, if you ask me! But it lays the foundation for today’s devotional, which starts with the premise that God created a big ten of his own, to which Jesus effectively added an expansion that enhances, but does not eliminate, the original. I am talking, of course, about the Ten Commandments.

Some people have the mistaken idea that Jesus came to eradicate the original ten. They are wrong. While Jesus spoke against the minutiae of the many laws that were extra add-ons made by the rabbis of the day, the sanctity of the original ten remains paramount to this day.

Exodus 20 (Contemporary English Version)

 God said to the people of Israel:

I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.

Do not worship any god except me.

Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. Don’t bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.

Do not misuse my name. I am the Lord your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name.

Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. You have six days when you can do your work, 10 but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day—not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. 11 In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That’s why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.

12 Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you.

13 Do not murder.

14 Be faithful in marriage.

15 Do not steal.

16 Do not tell lies about others.

17 Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don’t want anyone’s house, wife or husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.

Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? In Matthew, Jesus states that he has not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Then he says this:

John 13:34 (Common English Bible)

34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.

Think for a moment what the world would be like if we obeyed everything on this list. Think for a moment how different things would be if we just obeyed the new commandment given by Jesus. Wouldn’t the rest of the ten simply fall into place?

Imagine how changed your conversations would be with your family if all of the world lived under these commandments. What would your office “water cooler” conversations sound like? Not being able to lie or covet would certainly change the neighborhood. Sundays would be reverent again. Marriages would stay intact, or die trying. False idols would be forbidden and not tolerated, let alone revered. Our reverence for God would increase, as would our witness in the world. If we loved each other the way Jesus loves us, harmony would reign.

As you continue along on your Lent journey, take a look at this passage again and see how you measure up. God’s Big Ten (plus) still speak to us today. Where is God calling you to obey?

Just as I Have Loved You by Deena Sharp

Conventional Wisdom

The disunity we are experiencing in our country, our towns, our churches, and our families is rooted in our discourse, and the subsequent positioning we take from intractable sides. One says blue and the other says red, and both point to endless articles to bolster their point. One says conservative and the other says progressive, and both point to scripture to prove their position. This type of debate-posturing results in both sides being disenfranchised from the koinonia, or the fellowship/kinship of the combined whole.

Paul writes this in Philippians 2:

1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.

The root of our disconnect with one another is found in our reliance on our own wisdom. We apply our personal conventional wisdom to matters that wisdom defies. Our wisdom is colored and flavored with the prejudices of our environment, our status in society, and our upbringing. And when we think that OUR wisdom is better than THEIR wisdom, the community is destroyed. Truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent people can effectively argue an issue from many sides. So where is the truth?

1 Corinthians 1 (The Message)

18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as shams.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered stupid—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so cheap, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”

The only truth that matters in the end is Christ crucified. All other debates, posturing, and positioning can only lead to further disruption of the singular message of “Christ crucified.” There is no human wisdom that can adequately explain this. There is no intelligent education that can sufficiently prove anything. Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Go and preach THAT, and that alone.

Unconventional Beauty by Michelle Robertson

Lose your Life

In an earlier devotional, I referenced the story from Greek mythology of King Midas, who was granted a wish that everything he touched would turn to gold. Then he discovered that the food he needed to live could not be consumed, as it became gold the minute he touched it. I think this is a perfect allegory for what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives?” We are reminded that when we pursue worldly goods, ideas, agendas, and behaviors, we risk losing the eternal life to which all are called through Christ Jesus.

Take a look at this exchange between Jesus and his disciples:

Mark 8 (Common English Bible)

31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.” 32 He said this plainly. But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him. 33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.”

Peter is admonished for thinking “human thoughts.” What human thoughts do you engage in that are ungodly? What behaviors would condemn you as someone speaking for Satan? Is Jesus trying to correct something in your life today? Say NO to yourself.

34 After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. 36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives?37 What will people give in exchange for their lives? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

The invitation is to follow Jesus. That means saying NO to all of the unholy things we say, do, think, and participate in. Those things are not worthy of a holy life, and those things are not worthy of you. Jesus invites us to take up our cross and follow him, and in that way we will save our lives as we lose them…in other words, lose the secular lives we are living and gain eternal lives in Christ.

The call is real. The circumstance is dire. The time is upon us. Lose your life because of Jesus, and you will gain heaven itself. And that, my friends, is good news.

Take Up Your Cross

The Art of Listening

In a sermon I recently preached on the subject of prayer, I reminded the congregation that God gave us two ears and one mouth, which perhaps might be a hint that we should listen twice as much as we speak. I was applying this to prayer, but I think it could apply to everything else…our conversations, our arguments, our discussions with our family, our debates…there is nothing we do that wouldn’t be improved by more listening and less talking.

Listening is a way of God. Did you ever think about that? No matter what you take to him, he is guaranteed to listen to you. There is NOTHING you can say, no evil or destructive behavior you need to confess, no grudge so petty, no angry word expressed, that he won’t hear with loving concern. As the psalmist says, “He didn’t hide his face from me. No, he LISTENED when I cried out to him for help.”

Psalm 22 (Common English Bible)

All of you who revere the Lord—praise him!
    All of you who are Jacob’s descendants—honor him!
    All of you who are all Israel’s offspring—
        stand in awe of him!
24 Because he didn’t despise or detest
    the suffering of the one who suffered—
    he didn’t hide his face from me.
    No, he listened when I cried out to him for help.

For this alone, God is worthy of our praise. He inclines his ear to our suffering. He is found by those who seek him. He is worthy of the worship of all nations.

25 I offer praise in the great congregation
    because of you;
    I will fulfill my promises
    in the presence of those who honor God.
26 Let all those who are suffering eat and be full!
    Let all who seek the Lord praise him!
        I pray your hearts live forever!
27 Every part of the earth
    will remember and come back to the Lord;
    every family among all the nations will worship you.
28 Because the right to rule belongs to the Lord,
    he rules all nations.
29 Indeed, all the earth’s powerful
    will worship him;
    all who are descending to the dust
    will kneel before him;
    my being also lives for him.
30 Future descendants will serve him;
    generations to come will be told about my Lord.
31 They will proclaim God’s righteousness
        to those not yet born,
        telling them what God has done.

What can we do in response? We can listen in his name. We can incline our ear to suffering. We can come back to him with repentant hearts. We can refuse to hide our faces from people who need help.

We can hear the way he hears.

Find someone today who simply needs to be heard, and offer them the gift of your time and your presence. And remember to listen twice as much as you speak.

Listen Well by Michelle Robertson

It Depends on Faith

When you are at your darkest moment and you open your eyes in the morning and all you see is crushing despair, how strong is your faith?

Friends who are saddled with the unrelenting sadness of failed marriages, family members involved in criminal activity, terminal diagnoses, and watching a mother waste away in hospice are currently experiencing this right now. Maybe you are, too.

In the bleakest of our circumstances, Paul advises us to look to God’s promises to counter-balance the hopelessness that we feel. God’s promises are real. God’s promises are steadfast. God’s promises are eternal.

The promise made to Abraham in the form of a covenant of God’s abiding presence with his descendants is one of the most comforting promises we can rely on in times of trouble. God promises to always be WITH us, having claimed us for himself. This promise is not based on any law, but based solely on God’s faithfulness to his people.

Romans 4 (New Revised Standard Version)

13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 

The promise rests on grace. Hallelujah! It doesn’t rest on performance on our part, it doesn’t rest on the law, but solely on the grace of God. We understand grace to be the unmerited favor of our Lord. You can’t earn it, so you can’t lose it, thanks be to God. God’s grace is guaranteed.

18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 

And so we must be like Abraham, and hope against hope. No matter how awful your circumstance is, grace can come in such a way that your head will spin. God often does the unexpected in answer to our fervent prayers and unwavering faith. Even old Abraham and geriatric Sarah conceived a child!

20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

May we have the faith of Abraham as we encounter the terrible. May we have the righteousness of Sarah as we pray for the impossible. And may we be raised in Christ as the final proof of our hope that “with God, all things are possible.”

New Mercies I See by Michelle Robertson

By Any Other Name

Do you know what your name means? Were you named for someone in the family? Parents take great care to give their children names they hope they will live up to and live into. Ask any son who is a “junior.” The association with names and meaning is strong. No one here would name a child “Poured Concrete.” No one here would name a pet “Ground Meat.” If we were shopping for clothing, we would be loathe to purchase a garment from “Lepers, Inc.” Indeed, we associate things with the names they are given. Names have meaning, and we pay attention to that.

In our lectionary reading this morning, we see two people who receive name changes from the Lord himself. The changes are slight variations of the names they already have, but they signal to the community that a divine intervention has occurred and life will never be the same:

Genesis 17 (New Revised Standard Version)

 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty;[a] walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

So Abram becomes Abraham and is now to be known as the father of all nations. He has become the patriarch of EVERYTHING that follows. As the song goes, father Abraham had many sons; I am one of them, and so are you. This stunning intrusion of God into human history turned the world on its ear. In this singular moment, God’s covenant with his people is established, one that will be continued all the way to the cross and beyond.

15 God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

Barren Sarai’s life also takes a drastic turn. Don’t miss the fact that she becomes the “Mother of All Nations,” and her offspring live out the covenant even to this day.

If you were to be given a new name from God, what would you choose?

“Redeemed?”

”Rescued?”

”Joy?”

“Beloved?”

”Harmony?”

”Forgiven?”

Every day, we have a chance to “change our name” in the eyes of God. Choose well today. God’s offer of covenant is yours for the asking.

Feathered Hope by Kathy Schumacher

Step By Step

“Step by step, inch by inch…” this phrase from an old Three Stooges movie reminds me of how some people approach faith. There is nothing wrong with a methodical process, says the Methodist minister! The blessing of pursuing incremental progress toward a goal ensures that you continue to move forward, and that’s always a good thing.

In his book based on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, “Because of This, I Rejoice,” writer Max Vincent leads us to find joy in our Lenten disciplines as we participate in the serious work of moving step by step, inch by inch toward Easter.

In discussing Paul’s approach to prayer in his letters, Vincent neatly breaks it down into four discernible steps. See if you can spot some of them in this passage:

Philippians 1:1-11 (Common English Bible)

I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy. I’m glad because of the way you have been my partners in the ministry of the gospel from the time you first believed it until now. I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus. I have good reason to think this way about all of you because I keep you in my heart. You are all my partners in God’s grace, both during my time in prison and in the defense and support of the gospel. God is my witness that I feel affection for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.

This is my prayer: that your love might become even more and more rich with knowledge and all kinds of insight. 10 I pray this so that you will be able to decide what really matters and so you will be sincere and blameless on the day of Christ. 

11 I pray that you will then be filled with the fruit of righteousness, which comes from Jesus Christ, in order to give glory and praise to God.

Paul used a four-step method, starting with THANKSGIVING. This is key, as it focuses us on God’s activity in our lives and in the lives of the people for whom we pray. When we concentrate on thanking God for the blessings he has poured out first, it helps us focus on God’s POWER before we even begin with our list of wants and needs. Giving thanks at the beginning of each prayer puts us into a spirit of praise, joy, gratitude, and humility. By starting our prayers with words of thanksgiving for all of our blessings, we remind ourselves of how good God is.

The second step is INTERCESSION, where we petition God for the needs of others and ourselves. We ask God to intervene in our lives and our situations to bring healing, mercy, comfort, and grace. We are reminded here that we exist in fellowship and connection with others. By putting the needs of others even before our own, we again focus on the power of God, and practice the type of humility Jesus taught from the cross.

The third step is CONFESSION, a necessary part of every prayer. We confess our distance from the righteousness to which we are called. We confess our willfulness. We confess our sins. We confess it all in the sure and certain knowledge that God hears our confessions and cleanses us of our sins.

And then we finish our confession with the doxology, or a word of PRAISE. God is worthy of our praise every day, and it’s important to let him know that! We praise God, from whom all blessings flow, and that moment reminds us that we are not self-reliant, but indeed we rely on God for everything that we have and need.

Try this pattern in your prayer time this week. Remember that God ALWAYS answers our prayers, so be persistent. Prayer changes things…mostly it changes US.

Step by Step by Kathy Schumacher

In the Desert

Name something that tempts you….as in, REALLY tempts you. Something that causes you to go weak in the knees trying to resist. Money? Power? Fame? Immortality? Gossip? Drama? Chocolate-covered caramel bars? CHEEZE??

The Greek myth of King Midas comes to mind when I think of temptation. He loved and worshipped gold. Gold was his kryptonite. He was granted a wish that everything he touched might be turned into gold. What joy! What bliss! Until the very food that he needed to survive was turned into gold and he couldn’t consume it. He cursed his power then, and sought relief from that which had once tempted him so strongly.

Today we read about Christ’s forty days in the desert where he was tempted by Satan. This reading falls in the first week of Lent for a reason. We are challenged to face the things that tempt us and have the power to pull us away from observing a Holy Lent.

Mark 1 (Common English Bible)

About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. 11 And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

12 At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.

An oversimplification of this passage would point out that God finds happiness in all of his children at the moment of baptism. He experiences joy when we commit to a life of resisting evil in all of its forms and promise to walk a righteous path. Temptations don’t come from God. He is not trying to ensnare us, but rather will send angels to take care of us in those moments of weakness….if we allow it. Sometimes our addictions block us from receiving help.

These 40 days of Lent are an exercise against temptation…the temptation to give up on our Lenten disciplines. The temptation to step off the path of righteousness. The temptation to succumb to evil in the form of gossip, sin, anger, betrayal, and shutting out God. The temptation to withhold forgiveness.

14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”

Jesus calls us to something better. He invites us to change our hearts and lives. We are encouraged to trust the good news of his life, death, and resurrection. Don’t be tempted to do anything less….that’s how Satan wins.

Wilderness Wonderland by Mary Anne Mong Cramer

Teach Me

We are officially in the season of Lent. This 40-day time of solemn preparation for the celebration of Easter Sunday is often marked by “giving something up.” This is always a good practice for those of us who have slipped into a spiritual lethargy since last Lent, methinks! I encourage the plus/minus form of Lent-making. In other words, don’t just give something up, but add something new in its place.

This year I decided to teach a Lent Bible Study in my congregation. It is my own personal “adding to.” I know that the discipline of preparing for class each week will add to my own discipleship and shake me out of my complacency. Our first lesson is on prayer, and already God is working in my spirit to teach me things I need to learn about prayer.

So imagine my joy when Psalm 25 came along in today‘s lectionary. Not only is David’s psalm a prayer, but it also teaches us about prayer! Let’s find those teaching points together today.

Psalm 25 (New Revised Standard Version)

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
    do not let me be put to shame;
    do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
    let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

We can’t enter a conversation with the Lord without lifting up our soul. This first sentence reminds us that we need to be deliberate in seeking and entering God’s presence. To lift up one’s soul is to expose everything we are dealing with in our hearts and minds to him. We enter a sacred chamber and wait, trusting God’s immediate presence. Through prevenient grace, we know that he is already in the chamber. We wait for OUR spirit to catch up with his presence.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all day long.

So often our prayers are mere lists of needs and wants. Indeed, God inclines his ear to hear our wailing, but David reminds us that if we pause our litany of woes long enough, we can also be taught and led into God’s ways and his truth. The difference is LISTENING. God gave us two ears and one mouth. They should be used proportionally in prayer. Speak once. Listen twice.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Reminding God of his goodness is a psalmist’s trick to remind the reader of God’s mercy and steadfast love. When we remember those truths, our prayers are more honest and forthcoming. And remembering that God forgets our sins gives us permission to also forget them.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

The Psalmist ends with more references to instructing, teaching, and leading.

What are you learning about prayer today? How will your prayers during Lent be different than before? Being humble in your approach to God is the first step. Humility calls us to be listening learners rather than loud demanders.

May we all rejoice in practicing listening, and may we celebrate a Holy Lent this year.

Our Prayers Take Flight by Michelle Robertson