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Devotionals

Lenten Devotion – No Barriers

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Lenten Devotion – No Barriers

Thursday, March 17 Luke 19:28-40, 45-48 Jesus believed that religious hypocrisy was a terrible barrier to a right relationship with God. The Gospels show that on several occasions he harshly attacked the outwardly pious Pharisees, who he accused of demanding sacrifice and strict adherence to religious law from others while harboring corruption within themselves. At the very end of his ministry, Jesus publicly attacked the corruption of religious officials in the place most holy to him and to all Jews, the Jerusalem Temple. People coming to...

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Lenten Devotion – Pause and Listen

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Lenten Devotion – Pause and Listen

Wednesday, March 16 Luke 19:28-40, 45-48 In Luke 19, we encounter Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem. Exultant praise, harsh questioning, and righteous indignation meet him at every turn. Despite the heavy opposition before him, however, Jesus asserts his faith in simple language. He pays heed to those who came before him and sets the example for those of us who follow. Most importantly, he never forgets his primary goal: to teach and spread the Word of God. We are overwhelmed by words that distract us from this goal. They stream from the mouths...

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Lenten Devotion – Peace in the Eye of the Hurricane

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Lenten Devotion – Peace in the Eye of the Hurricane

Tuesday, March 15 Luke 19:28-40, 45-48 What a mix of emotions Jesus must have felt as he entered Jerusalem, having just made his triumphant return. In the midst of joy and celebration, he enters the Temple to find it being desecrated. I often find that my anger is amplified when it is unexpected, or when I’m particularly happy and something “ruins the moment,” and my own anger is far from the righteous indignation of Jesus. It is at my worst moments when I need perspective. I need peace. I need reconciliation. When it often feels like...

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Lenten Devotion – Embodying Reconciliation

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Lenten Devotion – Embodying Reconciliation

Monday, March 14 Luke 19:28-40, 45-48 We welcomed Pope Francis to Washington, DC, in 2015. I remember the media making a big deal about his Fiat. Many Christians thought it was refreshing to see the Pope in a small economy car, just like it made sense for Jesus to enter Jerusalem on a colt…or maybe not. Jesus is “the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Where was his stallion or chariot? Jesus restored our relationship with God through works, not wealth. I found a second definition of reconciliation at Merriam-Webster.com that read,...

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Lenten Devotion – Radical Gestures

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Lenten Devotion – Radical Gestures

Saturday, March 12 John 12:1-8 In this Scripture, John tells us that Mary uses an entire bottle of expensive perfume made of pure nard to anoint Jesus’ feet. This type of fragrant oil is made from a plant found in the Himalayas, thousands of miles from Bethany. Perhaps Mary had originally acquired this extravagant perfume to honor a close family member at their death or perhaps she was saving it for her own burial. But she instead decides to anoint Jesus with it. And, instead of anointing the head as you might do to a member of royalty...

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Lenten Devotion – Dancing in the Spirit

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Lenten Devotion – Dancing in the Spirit

Friday, March 11 John 12:1-8 How do we, like Jesus, shed light on institutional injustices and embody a love for the most vulnerable? Responding to Judas, Jesus challenges us to reassess how acts of charity should feel. Judas shows charity as monetary flow is corruptible and can be swerved from its target. We don’t see Jesus preaching ascetic austerity when he accepts Mary’s perfume and loving humility; this is no “structural adjustment” where charity is abused by the wealthiest, leaving the poorest out cold. Jesus understands...

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Lenten Devotion – How To Say Thank You

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Lenten Devotion – How To Say Thank You

Thursday, March 10 John 12:1-8 Grace always confused me. Truth be told, it still does. Christ paid the price for our sins with his blood and despite what my Mom taught me about the rules of etiquette, I hardly think a hand-written thank you note would suffice. What our heavenly Father wants in return is nothing … and everything. It’s that simple!?! We should help the poor, serve joyfully, and be a blessing to the least among us. Doing these things isn’t for some cosmic checklist to somehow earn that which cannot be earned,...

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Lenten Devotion – What is Precious To You?

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Lenten Devotion – What is Precious To You?

Tuesday, March 8 John 12:1-8 Isn’t it unsettling that in John 12 that Jesus declares the poor to be an eternal part of society? Especially in Washington D.C. we encounter a ceaseless tide of homelessness that cannot but weigh heavily on the mind and heart of Christians, we who are called to extend the grace and love of God to those most in need. The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress calculated that a staggering 42 percent of homeless individuals in the District had chronic patterns of homelessness, nearly twice the national...

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Lenten Devotion – Will You Please Have Dinner With Me?

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Lenten Devotion – Will You Please Have Dinner With Me?

Monday, March 7 John 12:1-8 There they gave a dinner for him. John 1:2a It seems like Lazarus, Martha, and Mary had Jesus in their home all the time. They really enjoyed each others’ company. They were not only followers of Jesus but they were close friends. Their home was a place where Jesus could put his feet up. These siblings seemed to enjoy creating this space of respite for Jesus. And I would guess they loved having him all for themselves, listening to their charismatic friend and savior tell all kind of awesome stories. This time...

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Lenten Devotion – This is a Day of New Beginnings

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Lenten Devotion – This is a Day of New Beginnings

Sunday, March 6 This is a Day of New Beginnings Chalice Hymnal No. 518 In Luke 15, this third story that Jesus tells the haughty Pharisees strikes a nerve because human emotions between the “lost and found” period – disrespect, greed, impatience, rebellion, overindulgence, regret – are all evident. In the end, the son and father were not only reunited, but reconciled. All hurt and Jewish family customs were tossed aside as the father ran to meet his returning son. When we ask for forgiveness, our Father forgets our sins...

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