E-votional - Great Lent
March 5, 2003


"we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 (NRSV)


We struggle through our existence, reaching for what is within arms length, hoping that the next thing we grab offers stability that is more permanent than what we have just released. When we look at the trail we have left behind, too often we see a mess that was not necessary, rather the result of not knowing where we were or where we were going. It is a matter of being caught up in a moment and losing sight of who we are and who's we are. Broken but not destroyed, forgetful, yet not without, this is who we find ourselves to be. Who we, unfortunately, are.

Hear the Good News, while we may find that we are somewhat broken, we are not destroyed, by the Love and Grace of God, Jesus Christ. There is a catch, if you would call it as such, we have to come to a realization of who are, who we have become and who we are to be. Realizing the brokenness and irregularities of who we are can be quite difficult, extremely painful and in some cases, nearly impossible. Living in a society that strives for all to be empowered, we glaze over the imperfections and faults, searching for redeeming qualities and overlook real issues of our life. Lent, the season beginning today calls us to look, search and find out who we truly are. It is a time of truth, of discovery, growth and reality. Through re-focus, re-commitment, re-connection, we hope to re-concile ourselves to God. Fasting (limited eating and drinking), Prayer:Talking (set quiet, undisturbed times with you and God throughout the day), Bible Study (Corporate and private), Worship (within a community of believers), Service (without being asked), Meditation:Listening (set quiet, undisturbed times with you and God throughout the day) and journal (written thoughts and prayer for later reflection) are the primary instruments used during this time of growth and introspection. I challenge us all to use this season, not to revisit New Year's resolutions, but to renew something wonderful, to discover a new life and to reconcile ourselves to God.

Prayer: Psalm 51 (The Message)

   Generous in love-God, give grace! Huge in mercy-wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down. You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I've been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise. Going through the motions doesn't please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice. Make Zion the place you delight in, repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls. Then you'll get real worship from us, acts of worship small and large, Including all the bulls they can heave onto your altar! Amen.