For Week Two of Lent (24 Feb. 2021)

A few reflections I wrote up for you to discuss with a Spiritual Friend or to individually reflect upon during this season of Lent. Blessings for the week!

Pastor Jule

Right before his transfiguration, Jesus told his disciples what it would take to follow him (in Luke 9:23-25).  The Message translation puts it this way:  “Then Jesus told them what they could expect for themselves:  ‘Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.  You’re not in the driver’s seat – I am.  Don’t run from suffering; embrace it.  Follow me and I’ll show you how.  Self-help is no help at all.  Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true Self.  What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?’”  . . .  One thing to ponder during the season of Lent is this self-giving way of Christ – which is often referred to as the way of the cross.  It is the way that seeks Life for the whole world; for according to Jesus, that is the true way to live.  We each are here to be the true Self God has created us to be, so we live as the gift God intends for us to be for the world!

1.  What is it like for you “to let Jesus lead” in every aspect of your life?  Is this something that you find difficult or rather easy?  When and under what circumstances? 

2.  The word sacrifice is a loaded term for many.  Is this the case for you, and why or why not?  Jesus’ words above assure that he will show us how to embrace sacrifice, not run from it.  What from his LIFE (not his death) shows you how to sacrifice in ways that are life-giving to you and others – in ways that have you living as the GIFT God intends for you to be?

3.  Review a typical day of your life.  What are some of the ways you freely give of yourself each day?

In a reversal of Jesus’ words, it has been said that:  “Death is the slow process of giving ourselves to what does not matter.”

(Brett Younger, Feasting on the Word, Yr. A, Vol. 1; p. 341)

4.  What are you giving yourself to right now that does not matter, or that is death-tolling?  What can you do about it?

TO GET INTO IT ANOTHER WAY (for individual reflection):

Outline the past 7 days of your life including ways you have spent your time, with whom you have spent your time, and who if anyone has benefited from each way you have spent your past 7 days.  Pay attention to times you have welcomed activities or responsibilities, and times you have undertaken them unwillingly, begrudgingly, or out of a sense of duty.

FOR ACTION (for individual reflection): 

For one week, pay attention to those who live beside you each day.  Catch one of them freely giving for your or another’s benefit.  Thank them for the way they give of who they are for you or others.

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