Lent 2018 – Daily Devotionals

Daily Devotionals:   Feb. 14-24   Feb. 25-March 3   March 4-10   March 11-17   March 18-24   
March 25-April 3   

“Preparing Our Hearts for Easter”

What is Lent? The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word “lengten,” 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.

This year we will be following and reflecting on Christ’s journey to Jerusalem. Throughout the gospel of Luke, Jesus had a fruitful ministry. Early in chapter 9 He sends out the Twelve, so that they might experience the ministry of the gospel; He feeds the five thousand; and Peter confesses that Jesus is “the Christ of God.” Jesus takes Peter, John and James up onto a mountain where they witness the glory of the transfiguration and then He completes the healing of the boy with the evil spirit that the disciples were unable to do. Even with this success, darkness is beginning to gather. “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men (9:44).” And then, of all things, his disciples have a squabble about which of them would be the greatest. Even so, he never loses sight of the mission for which he came. “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem (9:51).” He begins His journey to Jerusalem to accomplish our salvation, and along the way he teaches and models discipleship.

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, February 14, 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.

Another part of our journey is to SERVE. We serve because Jesus served: “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.” by Dr. George C. Fuller from The High Calling of Deacon

We are encouraging each Christian, each family, each small group to take part in acts of service during this Lenten season. We are trying to make it as easy as 1, 2, 3: One – take part in a service project (Serve your community and a local nonprofit by signing up for a coordinated project or taking action on your own); Two – this year we will be asking the church to take part in Notes of Encouragement, writing a personalized card for a teacher or staff person from our public schools; and Three bring a monetary gift ($3 per child, or $30 per adult) to be collected to support “Getting Ahead,” a program empowering those in poverty to build resources for themselves and their communities.

The final part of the journey is to share the stories of how you’ve been blessed by serving others or something that God revealed to you in the devotionals. What an encouragement to for the church to see the church serving the community. Simply fill out a serving-form found in the narthex or send an eMail to office@manorpresbyterian.com with “1,2,3” in the subject line. We’ll post your stories. We can’t wait to share the results with you. So that’s it REFLECT, GIVE, SERVE, RESTORE, so that we might KNOW Him better through this Lenten season. Enjoy the journey!