Lent 2017 – Daily Devotionals

Daily Devotionals:   nMarch 1-5   nMarch 6-11   nMarch 12-18    nMarch 19-25   nMarch 26-April 1
nMarch 2-April 8 nApril 9-16

“Preparing Our Hearts for Easter”

What is Lent? The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word “lengthen,” which simply means “spring” — when the days lengthen and new life springs forth. It is a time in which we anticipate the victory of the light and life of Christ over the darkness of sin and death. It is, to borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, a season of a kind of “happiness and wonder that makes you serious.”

It is our prayer that as you journey with us from Ash Wednesday to Easter, you would be reminded of the reality of our broken humanity, but as days grow brighter, you would experience with greater abundance the reality of God’s redeeming grace. And so, just as we carefully prepare for big events in our personal lives, such as a wedding or commencement, Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Our ultimate goal is to KNOW the LORD: the God who made us and loved us before the creation of the world; the Son who gave his life to redeem us and broke the bonds of death giving us eternal life; and the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, teaches us and comforts us.

“It has been said by someone that ‘the proper study of mankind is man.’ I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. 

There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, ‘Behold I am wise.’ But when we come to the master science, finding that our plumb line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with solemn exclamation, ‘I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.’ No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God…”

C. H. Spurgeon…..New Park Street Chapel…..January 7, 1855

So, to that end we invite you to journey with us through this Lenten season. This journey is in four parts – all of which help us to know the Lord better. The included daily devotionals help us REFLECT on the Lord and his Word. There is one devotional for each day of the week, beginning Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and ending Easter Sunday. They are short and focused, containing a portion of scripture, a thought and a prayer. You may want to use these for family devotions. The devotional material is from Lutheran Hour Ministries, 660 Mason Ridge Center, St. Louis, MO 63141. Their website indicates that “Churches can also download, personalize and print them to give to congregation members or use as an outreach tool with guests and visitors.” A gift of appreciation has been sent to this ministry.

“He [Jesus] served: we serve. Really, he serves through his body, the church, us. Without the ministry of mercy, the body is so incomplete. As though without an arm, a leg, the church seeks to stand, walk, run, but falls in confusion and uncertainty. In diaconal ministry we work out the salvation of the Lord with fear and trembling, until we see how that great gift touches everything and everybody that we touch. At every point of contact with his body the world sees and senses the love of God in Christ Jesus, love which commends and commands a ministry of mercy, diaconal ministry.”         Dr. George C. Fuller…The High Calling of Deacon

Parts 2, 3, and 4 of our journey are to…give, serve and restore. Manor has partnered with the local Constellation Network GSR Lent Project.  We are encouraging each Christian, each family, each small group…to GIVE two pounds of food per person for ministry of the Bridge; take part in acts of SERVICE during this Lenten season, and contribute three dollars (per child, or $30 per adult) for the work of Casa Youth Advocates, a local non-profit organization working to RESTORE our community.

Casa Youth Advocates believes that every child needs an advocate. They aim to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children who are involved in the family courts, and do so by mobilizing and supporting quality volunteers to serve as advocates for the children they serve. Casa serves Delaware County and is expanding their service into Chester County.

And finally, please share stories how you’ve been blessed by serving others or from reading the daily Lent devotionals. It’s an encouragement to all…to see the church serving the community. Fill out a serving-form found in the narthex or send an email to church office, and we’ll post your stories.

So that’s it REFLECT, GIVE, SERVE, RESTORE, so that we might KNOW Him better through this Lenten season. Enjoy the journey!