BSPC Lenten Devotional – Monday, February 22 – Saturday, February 27

THEME: Memory – Scripture: John 2:13-22
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Monday, February 22
“Lent is a call to weep for what we could have been and are not. Lent is the grace to grieve for what we should have done and did not. Lent is the opportunity to change what we ought to change but have not. Lent is not about penance. Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now. Lent is a summons to live anew.
Lent is the time to let life in again, to rebuild the worlds we’ve allowed to go sterile, to ‘fast and weep and mourn’ for the goods we’ve foregone. If our own lives are not to die from lack of nourishment, we must sacrifice the pride or the sloth or the listlessness that blocks us from beginning again.”
–Joan Chittister

Holy and loving God, give me the courage to overturn and drive out the things in my life that are not of You. Amen.

Tuesday, February 23
“Steve Jobs said, ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards and trust that the dots will connect again. This approach has never let me down.’ The trust the Bible commends is based on ‘looking backwards.’ Memory is the basis of hope.”
–William C. Green

God of all time, help me remember all that you have done for me in the past, are doing for me in this moment, and all that you will do for me in the future. Amen.

Wednesday, February 24
“…The whole sweep of scriptures comes rushing together at this moment, at this place. This wasn’t what anybody expected. But the place was right, the time was spot on, and Jesus had come to do what God had promised: to judge and to save, to sort things out once and for all, to bring heaven and earth together at last.”
–N.T. Wright, Lent for Everyone

O Lord, teach us to recognize the right place and the right time and the courage we need to act. Amen.

Thursday, February 25
“What is most important to discover in this scripture passage is that God does not dwell within the boxes we have created; God desires far more than ritual and rules. Even the temple disrupted, Passover still took place. People still found ways to praise God and to remember their history. It wasn’t the building that was important; it was their relationship with God and their living faithfully according to his will. And the same is true for us.”
–Katie Z. Dawson, The Lord is Our Salvation

Lord of all, focus our hearts and minds and souls on our relationship with you-only you. Amen.

Friday, February 26
“This seems to have been St. Augustine’s very notion of ‘memory’, not just nostalgia for some past moment, but connecting past, present and future in one complete contemplative knowing.”
–Richard Rohr

Eternal God, may I remember, as your disciples remembered, and believe the scriptures and all that you have said. Amen.

Saturday, February 27
“Well, it’s the most profound holiday in the Christian tradition. And I think two things really come to mind. One is something that the great writer Barbara Johnson said, which is that we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world. And I think that every year the world seems more of a Good Friday world. And it’s excruciating, whether it’s Japan, or Libya, or whether it’s your own best friends and their children who are sick, which is something that makes no sense when you think about a loving God. But it’s a time when we get to remember that all the stuff that we think makes us of such value, all the time we spend burnishing our surfaces, is really not what God sees. God loves us absolutely unconditionally, as is. It’s a come as you are party.”
–Anne Lamott

Loving God, remind me that everything you did–every act of healing, love and defiance–was for me, for us all. Amen.

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