Lenten Meditations

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Lenten Meditation: Giving Up Salvation for Lent

by Ed Bacon

While working on a recent sermon on the beautiful gospel text, “For God so loved the world (John 3:16),” I used a translation that consistently uses the word, “heal,” instead of the word, “salvation.” The translation by James Henson read, “God’s Likeness was not sent into the world to show the world in a bad light. But to bring healing to the world.”

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Lenten Meditation: Taking on Transition for Lent

by Ed Bacon

In his book, Transitions, William Bridges, a noted authority in transition studies writes, “Change is external; transition is internal.”

As I reflect on how my own Lenten journey has been going this year, the first thing that leaps to mind is that I have taken on Transition for Lent.

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Lenten Meditation: Confidence in Love

by Sally Howard

We reach the point in the Lectionary readings this week in which Jesus knows his life is in danger. Lazarus has been healed and word has spread. Jesus, the bearer of salve, has loved all that is unloved in human persons, gathering together all that was scattered and broken. He is attracting followers beyond the borders of his own people and he is becoming an increasing threat to the empire order. Jesus knows his days are numbered and he is troubled and storm-tossed by the suffering he anticipates. Yet, Jesus finds a way to continue living into the present moment in the house of Love. How did Jesus find the courage and strength to accept this suffering?

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Lenten Meditation: Giving Up Exhaustion for Lent

by Susan Russell

The ideal, of course, is that we live our lives in balance and exercise the kind of physical, emotional and spiritual self-care that keeps us from becoming exhausted. Spent. Wrung out. Fried. The reality — at least for me — is that most of the time I exist somewhere short of that ideal.

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desert

Lenten Meditation: Wilderness

by Laura Thornton

I am drawn most years to the image of wilderness as meditative and filled with prayer. The peace and quiet of the desert is calming during Lent. Jesus went into the wilderness and stood his ground against evil. He leaned into God and held steady against that which tried to separate him from God.

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hope

Lenten Meditation: Beyond Hope in Hope

by Janine Schenone

I have been reflecting a great deal upon hope in this Lenten season. This started when I preached on the second Sunday of Lent about the phrase “hoping against hope” (Romans 4:18), an expression Paul uses to describe Abraham’s and Sarah’s radical faith in God. They left their homeland and trusted when God said they would bear children in old age.

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open-hands

Lenten Meditation: Choosing Being Free over Being Right

by Susan Russell

I’ve loved reading Anne Lamott since I discovered “Bird by Bird” – her “instructions on writing and life” – in 1996. Over the years I’ve found her to be inspiring and insightful, honest and hysterical, challenging and clarifying — all wrapped up in the both/and of a deep and questioning faith.

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casa labyrinth

Lenten Meditations: Retreat!

by Janine Schenone

I have just returned from directing a 3-day retreat with our 20/30s group, “Nature and the Divine.” Friday evening started with gathering to eat at La Super Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara (“Julia Child’s favorite Mexican food”), and then we came back to the big room of our house at Casa de Maria.

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Lenten Meditation: Choosing health

by Jenny Tisi

Matthew 11:19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard….’

When I saw this quote from the Bible in another Lenten Meditation book, I remembered a story from 8 years ago. A dear friend and fellow children’s choir director said to me “Won’t it be great when you can walk in to conduct a room full of kids for a festival and you can instantly win them over with the way you look, instead of with your personality and skills?” I knew what she was saying. First impressions are real. It hit me hard. I was approaching 300 pounds and I needed to get a grip.

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Lenten Meditation: In the Lap of a Mothering God

by Anne Peterson

March 6 was my mother’s birthday. She died June 6, 1973, at age 67. I was 26, and expecting my first child. Three years later my second daughter was born on March 6. Tess has my mother’s syrup brown eyes and her sensuous physicality. When she hugs you, you feel enveloped in love.

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