Whatever it is that you have decided to fast from during Lent, I hope it is helping you to focus your attention on God. It was a challenge for me to not turn on the TV this morning when I heard the news about the earthquake in Japan, but I have been enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with not watching TV. Below is a quick story from a friend who is fasting from chocolate:
While in the grocery store with my 4-year-old daughter, we walked by the cookie section and Kenzie asked, “Mommy, can we get some chocolate chip cookies or have sissy bake some?” My response to her was, “Honey, I’m sorry but Mommy can’t have chocolate.” When she asked
Isaiah 58: 9b-14
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Psalm 86: 1-6 – A prayer of David.
1 Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. 3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. 4 Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. 6 Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.
Luke 5: 27-32
7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
look upon our weakness
and reach out to help us with your loving power.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Savior, and ask Him with confidence:
Lord, help us with your grace.
May we keep our bodies pure,
– as temples of the Holy Spirit.
May we offer ourselves this morning to the service of others,
– and do your will in all things throughout the day.
Please use me today – even my weaknesses –
in some way to glorify you.
Let me be aware of
the many ways you reach out to help me today
and let me stand in awe of the power
that you use in such loving ways.
This week we pray for a renewal of our lives.
We are beginning to be more attentive and alert.
We are trying new patterns.
The difficulties we encounter keep us humble.
We want the “self-sacrificing love of Christ” –
which brings us mercy and healing – to be “reproduced in our lives.”
In our journey, we seek to savor the meaning of Jesus’ self-less love,
that we might reflect that love to others.Amen.